Architect Juancarlos Fernandez might have made a name for himself as the designer behind the Odette winery in Napa’s Stags Leap District, but his latest California wine country triumph elevates the Mexico-born architect as one of the region’s reigning champions of modernist architecture.
Residing on 41 acres just five minutes from St. Helena, Karinya takes its namesake from the Australian aboriginal culture, simply translated as “peaceful home.” One visit to the mid-century modernist-inspired aerie, and it’s clear why the name was chosen. Under his firm’s vision, Signum Architecture, a masterful design/build team consisting of Cello & Maudru Construction, Shawback Design for the interiors, and Jack Chandler Design for landscaping — along with the owner’s own inspiration — created a home that pays as much respect to its natural woodland surroundings as modernist architecture itself. Harmony with the landscape is achieved both within and outside its walls.
Fernandez’s appreciation for clean modernity and connection to nature echo throughout the 8,837-square-foot house, as glass, steel, Bianco Avorio limestone, white oak millwork and Venetian plaster walls blend seamlessly with the landscape. His work often draws comparisons to pioneering Mexican architect, Luis Barragán. The home, says listing agent Cyd Greer of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, “was built to last using natural materials with an eye to continuity, a connection with light and nature, an axis to the views, and a design that speaks quietly with subtle simplicity.” In other words, Karinya.
A unique “disappearing” gate sets the stage for an inviting circular motor court, then to a broad courtyard with sound emanating from a spectacular granite rock water feature. Large scale million-year-old “earth pearls” guide one to a dramatic glass entry with direct sightlines to breathtaking Napa Valley views sweeping across the infinity-edge pool and limestone terrace.
The warm modern interiors reveal everything for the modern lifestyle. An open floor plan unites the living, dining, cooking, family and music rooms in a clever L configuration with two distinct, yet coherent living spaces. A luxe primary suite occupies a wing of its own, offering epic views, pool access, dual dressing rooms and baths, an outdoor shower, infrared sauna with chromatherapy, a massage room with separate exterior access, and gym/yoga room with windows and mirrors perfectly aligned to frame beautiful forest views on every wall. Nearly every need or want is fulfilled at Karinya, including a gorgeous custom-lighted 2,000 bottle wine library with separate temperature-controlled areas for white and red wines, a large project room with a vast array of built-in storage, two offices with built-in cabinetry, an acoustically designed media/theatre room, two powder rooms, a mud room with high pressure hose for dog washing, laundry room, 3-car garage, and a full guest apartment with its own living room, view deck, two bedroom suites, and a host of additional creature comforts, including smart home systems throughout.
Beyond the residence, a fabulous outdoor barbecue kitchen and pizza oven, bocce court, farm-to-table vegetable garden, and an extensive string of hiking trails await.
Karinya has already garnered praise and generated media attention, including the Wall Street Journal and Modern Luxury Interiors.