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Williams Selyem Winery Headquarters

Architect / Firm: Patrick Mervin + Associates and D.arc Group / RBA LLC

Awards:    Year:    Entry Categories:

Awards:    Year:    Entry Categories:

Patrick Mervin + Associates and D.arc Group / RBA LLC

Contact Person

Alissa McNair

Architectural Firm


Jim Murphy & Associates
464 Kenwood Court #B, Santa Rosa CA 95407

Project Location: Healdsburg, CA
Completion Date: 07/04/2012

Total Building Area: 30,000 sf

Use: Winery Headquarters

Program: The program called for a new 15,000 square foot wine production area that includes a wine production room and barrel storage rooms, a loading dock, laboratory, chemical storage area and shops. The associated 15,000 square foot administrative area program called for a hospitality center, barrel tasting room, wine library and administrative offices. The final program element, a wine tasting pavilion, will be built as Phase II.

Special Challenges: In order to maximize the site’s vineyard areas, the new structure had to be located on the only area unsuitable for planting, a hillside dramatically interspersed with 200 year old oak trees and massive lichen covered rock outcroppings. In order to reduce the negative impact a monolithic structure of this scale would have had in this setting, we broke down the complex into three distinct and interconnected structures. Each of these elements responds to existing site pressures and play separate and unique architectural roles on the site.

Design Solution:

Administration Building: sitting at the front and lowest point of the hill, this barrel-vaulted structure greets all visitors with its glazed “barrel wall”; a creative design strategy of using an iconic element of winemaking as an image generating tool and signifying element. This two story building houses the Hospitality Lobby at the lower level and all Administrative functions on the second floor. The public sequence takes visitors axially through the “barrel wall”, the Hospitality Lobby and then through a “bottle wall”, made up of backlit bottles of the winery’s finest vintages.

Production Building: as the largest piece of the complex, the one story Production Building sits directly behind the Administration Building and nestles into the hillside blending with the topography of the site. The top of this one story structure is a green roof terrace, which functions as a “forecourt” and amenity to the employees entering directly into the second floor of the Administration Building. All of the wine production, storage, bottling and shipping, occur in this part of the facility. The visitor sequence passes through the lower level production areas, then up to the green roof terrace.

Future Wine Tasting Pavilion: to be located just north of the dramatic rock outcroppings and ancient oak trees, this structure will enjoy unobstructed views of the Russian River Valley. Connected to the green roof / terrace and the rest of the complex via a bridge across this natural buffer, the glass and stone Wine Tasting Pavilion will house all event-related hospitality functions and will be the culmination of the public tour. Wood fins surround and cradle the pavilion, modulating the exposure of the glass to both solar orientation and view.

Sustainable features: use of recycled 100 year old redwood fermentation tank staves, re-use of on-site stone, use of local materials, a green roof, two separate photovoltaic arrays, super insulated tilt-up concrete panels and embedding the production building in the hillside.

Welborn Associates

Summit Engineering, Inc. - Structural Engineer
Suite 16 Electrical Engineering - Electrical Engineer
Guttmann & Blaevoet - Mechanical Engineer
Atterbury and Associates - Civil Engineer
Bauer Associates - Geotechnical Engineer

Lauren Brandwein Design and Studio 516
Indoor Environmental Services - Refrigeration Design-Build

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