Kistler Barn Rehabilitation
Naomi O. Miroglio, FAIA, Principal
Charles E. Chase, AIA
Tuan and Robinson Structural Engineers, Structural, San Francisco, CA
TEP Engineering, Mechanical/Plumbing, Santa Rosa, CA
In 2015, Kistler Vineyards enlisted ARG’s help in opening a new wine-tasting venue, the first in the winery’s 34-year history. The chosen site for the venue, known as the Trenton Roadhouse property, includes a farmhouse and barn constructed in the 1920s and situated in one of Kistler’s established single-vineyard sites in Sonoma County, California. With sweeping views of the surrounding vine-covered hills, Kistler looked to ARG to create a distinctive space to engage with the grandeur of the site while providing visitors with an unparalleled tasting experience reflective of their exclusive brand.
ARG completed the project in two phases. Phase I transformed the site’s two-story wood-frame farmhouse into a contemporary wine-tasting space and added a stone-paved patio and fire pit, and wisteria-covered pergola. Phase II, on which this submission focuses, consisted of the transformation of the historic barn, a gable-roofed structure with flanking shed-roof bays. The project included dismantling and salvaging materials from the existing, severely deteriorated structure and reconstructing the new barn on a slightly larger footprint with upgraded structural and climate-control systems.
While Kistler Vineyards enjoyed marked success and a sterling reputation for high-quality wine, their capacity to entertain visitors in the Phase I roadhouse tasting space was limited. As a result, the client had been forced to reject as much as 60 percent of requests for tastings. To resolve this, Kistler turned to ARG to design a new wine-tasting venue on site at the barn.
The barn was envisioned as a space with a less formal, more intimate atmosphere than that of the farmhouse. Aesthetically, the goal was to provide an engaging space with a connection to the surrounding vineyard while retaining the historic character of the structure. To meet these objectives, the site’s original barn was first dismantled, then reconstructed with an expanded main room so as to comfortably seat up to twenty-four guests for tastings or club-member gatherings.
In addition to a tasting venue, the barn now serves as a small wine production and fermentation facility. Early conversations with the winemaker inspired a design that highlights the winemaking process. Subsequently, the design includes a series of glazed openings along the length of the barrel room walls, through which guests can catch a glimpse of the wine bubbling over and out of the barrels as it ferments.
ARG worked closely with Kistler Vineyards to establish clear objectives and develop the most appropriate design approach. It was ARG’s careful adaptive reuse process that married rehabilitation with programmatic design to reveal a stunning transformation. The result unifies the rustic surrounding landscape with the now-polished farmhouse while providing a visual point of connection with the property’s rich history.