Feast of the Senses

Sumptuous modernism by S.F. architects Aidlin Darling takes over Sonoma Museum

It's not surprising that among the awards won by the San Francisco architectural firm Aidlin Darling is one from the James Beard Foundation.

The award was for Bar Agricole in San Francisco's South of Market. But the firm, headed by Joshua Aidlin and David Darling, pays as much attention to the joys of taste and smell in all its work—from Stanford University's new Windhover Contemplative Center to stores and houses.

From December 20 to March 2, the architects will fill the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in Sonoma with sights, smells, sounds, rich textures, rough textures—and maybe the occasional taste?

'Site and Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design' will include a 55-foot-long charred wooden structure, models, videos, drawings, and photos. And it will feature discussions and tours of the firm's work, including a home and a winery.

"The studio is based around a process of designing to all the senses," Aidlin says. "It's not a hermetic modern architecture but a very sensual architecture."

"It's not often in the Bay Area you get to see an immersive exhibit like this, to see the way architecture is conceived and made," he says. "We want to expose the process of design as well as the end result."

Museum director Kate Eilertsen says, "I think great architecture can make you see the world in a different way. The places I have been that Aidlin Darling have built, that has happened to me."

For more info on 'Site and Senses,' click here. To view more of Aidlin Darling's work, click here.