Ashes & Diamonds
- location:Napa, CA
- Photography:Bruce Damonte
Bestor Architecture created a contemporary wine tasting facility for a new generation of wine connoisseurs. Resting in rolling green mounds, the event center lightly touches the ground and provides a relaxed indoor-outdoor space for gathering and tastings. While there are nods to Albert Frey in the portholes and Donald Wexler’s folded plate roofs of the mid-century, Palm Springs postcard fantasy, we aimed for a lighter and more current take fitting to the industrial nature of wine production and more residential scale of the hospitality. The brief required a serious production facility that could produce up to 10,000 cases of wine per year as a boutique winery and provide hospitality spaces that felt like a comfortable Living Room similar to that at the Eames House.
A pre-engineered metal building clad in insulated metal panels are used at the Production Building and wood-frame construction finished in stucco is at Hospitality. The two buildings are separate spaces for the above programmatic reasons and more importantly as part of the overall site strategy. The more public Hospitality Bldg is on axis with the main driveway and is the first structure one sees in full—the building acts as a sign of arrival. The more “back-of-house” Production spaces with large footprints and tall height requirements is located along the north edge of the property and with easy access for equipment to the Crush Pad off a separate, discreet drive.
In the courtyard, which acts as an extension of the Hospitality Building & Tasting Room spaces, a rolling landscape with zig zag paths cutting between the soft mounds provide varied views of the vineyards on site and the two buildings. The large Production Bldg provides an edge for the landscape and also provides staff with a bird’s eye view of the grounds from their offices located behind the large porthole windows at the second floor.