A closer look at Alton Wines, one of five finalists in the 2021 GRAY Awards Commercial Architecture category.
Built on a wave-like landform just outside of Walla Walla, Washington, Alton Wines is nestled into an existing cove that is formed by the surrounding vineyards. The site itself is an untouched pocket amongst vast swathes of working farmland. The plot had been deemed ‘unfarmable’ due to the soil makeup and location, so the owner sat on it, waiting for the right opportunity to build something special, but it had to have a design that was sensitive to the land.
The resulting winery, designed by Seattle's GoC Studio, has a rigorous structural grid with framed openings throughout the building. Starting at the approach to the structure, steel bays form an arbor which will be planted with grape vines, creating much needed shade on hot summer days. This arbor structure passes through the building and forms the awning for the south terrace outside the tasting room. Sliding doors and windows enclose the tasting room, and the entire building is capped by a sheltering roof. A skylight and a carved entry opening help to anchor the west end of the space, funnel natural light deep into the building, and frame sky views throughout the seasons.
Jon Gentry AIA
Aimée O’Carroll ARB
J Welch Engineering - Structural and Civil Engineering
Mountain States Construction Company - General Contractor
Kevin Scott - Photographer
Juan Benavides - Videographer
Date of Completion: July 2020
Additional Architecture, Commercial finalists:
Blu Dot Showroom
The Century Project at the Space Needle
Check out the Quick List to see all of the 2021 GRAY Awards finalists!
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