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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Titus Vineyards in Saint Helena, CA by MH Architects

 
March 27th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: v2com

The Titus brothers reached out to MH Architects to explore the concept of a new winery facility located in Napa Valley in 2012. The client’s stated goal was to express the spirit of Titus Vineyards wine through the architectural components of the winery design. MH Architects responded with a series of design iterations before narrowing the focus toward a design that best matched the client’s needs. During the process, architect and client reviewed the basics of production flow, matched hospitality requirements with current trends in the wine tourism industry, and created a building aesthetic which captured brand identity. The design team worked closely to accommodate the complex layout of shiny fermentation tanks which catalyze anaerobic reactions under the same roof which hosts aesthetically-conscious guests with discerning palates.

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards.  Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

  • Architects: MH Architects (Matt Hollis, Principal + Lead Designer)
  • Project: Titus Vineyards
  • Location: 2971 Silverado Trail N, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
  • Photography: Tim Maloney, Technical Imagery Studios
  • Client: Titus Vineyards
  • Project Manager: Helen Vasquez, MH Architects
  • Civil Engineer: Mike Muelrath, Applied Civil Engineering Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: Rich Burris, Structural Design Group (SDG)
  • Contractor: Steve Kilgannon, Facility Development Construction (FDC)
  • Year: Began in 2012, Construction 2014-2015

The main entrance of Titus Winery is a balanced composition of varied-height, layered horizontal roof planes.  Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The main entrance of Titus Winery is a balanced composition of varied-height, layered horizontal roof planes. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Bordered by Silverado Trail to the east and the Napa River to the west, the 54-acre project site is located just north of St. Helena with views overlooking estate vineyards. Previously, an existing farm house accommodated occasional informal tastings on a picnic bench and wine was produced at a rented custom crush facility. The client wanted take advantage of the picturesque setting and integrate a tasting experience for an ever-growing clientele with a state-of-the-art production facility. The new building would enable Titus Vineyards to sell wine directly to their customers and engage those customers with the land where the grapes were originally grown and the process of the wine being made.

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards.  Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Program

MH Architects discussed the winemaking process at length with winery staff in order to map out crucial adjacencies for production flow. Staff was forthcoming with technical requirements for all equipment. Necessary clearances were observed and efficient routing for all plumbing and electrical components were optimized. As the equipment was integrated into the floorplan, the building itself became a wine-making machine.

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards.  Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The Southwest corner of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

As a 20,000 case production facility, Titus is generally considered a “boutique” winery where crafted production is emphasized over the volume of wine that is produced. Fruit is delivered directly to the Covered Crush area from flatbed trucks and dumped onto horizontal conveyances for cellar staff to remove any substandard grape clusters. After being processed by the destemmer, the grape “must” is pumped to 6000-gallon fermentation tanks in the adjacent Fermentation Room. During the next six weeks, glucose is converted to carbon dioxide, heat, and ethyl alcohol while the age-old process of fermentation is administered through a tightly-controlled process. Following crush and fermentation, the wine is then pumped into 60-gallon wood barrels stacked five racks tall where it will age for two years in the Barrel Storage Room.

The west façade of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered Hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards.  Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The west façade of Titus Winery is characterized by the covered Hospitality area overlooking surrounding vineyards. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Architectural Approach

Siting the building was complicated due to proximity to the Napa River. To mitigate flood risk, the winery was raised to sit atop on a 5- to 8-foot-tall earthen berm. In addition to avoiding high water, the elevated building pad afforded the new Tasting Room uninterrupted views over the surrounding vineyards to the Napa River and the wooded Mayacama Range beyond.

Lined with 6000-gallon fermentation tanks on either side and a metal truss roof above, the Fermentation Room overlooks the Covered Crush area beyond.  Fermentation is a six-week, highly-controlled process that involves the conversion of glucose to carbon dioxide, heat, and ethyl alcohol,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Lined with 6000-gallon fermentation tanks on either side and a metal truss roof above, the Fermentation Room overlooks the Covered Crush area beyond. Fermentation is a six-week, highly-controlled process that involves the conversion of glucose to carbon dioxide, heat, and ethyl alcohol, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Because of the raised berm, every effort was made to reduce the vertical height of the structure and the profile of the building in general. The large roof spans at the Fermentation and Barrel Storage Rooms were achieved with flat metal trusses as opposed to sloped gables. Most of the perimeter walls of the building were constructed with tilt-up board-formed concrete. The formwork and rebar for the walls were laid out on 6-inch-wide boards to create a rich, striated texture. After curing, each of the concrete walls was “tilted up” 22-feet high and into place by crane. Because the walls were precast, special care was taken to coordinate imbedded metal anchors to receive the ends of the metal trusses in order to structurally interlock the roof and walls together.

The suspending ceiling of the Hospitality Room is comprised of long horizontal slats of varied widths and depths with a view of the Fermentation Room through the glass wall beyond.  Glass blade LED light fixtures hang between the slats in a staggered composition.  The slatted ceiling mitigates acoustical resonance and allows for flexible ventilation,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The suspending ceiling of the Hospitality Room is comprised of long horizontal slats of varied widths and depths with a view of the Fermentation Room through the glass wall beyond. Glass blade LED light fixtures hang between the slats in a staggered composition. The slatted ceiling mitigates acoustical resonance and allows for flexible ventilation, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The horizontal lines that define the board-formed concrete walls repeat in the Hospitality Room suspended ceiling, comprised of varied width and depth wooden slats. Glass blade LED light fixtures set between the slats maintain the linear theme. Offsetting the hard concrete floors and walls, the slatted ceiling baffles sound gently and mitigates acoustical resonance allowing intelligible conversation when multiple groups of guests are present. MH Architects also designed linear pendant fixtures over the Tasting Counter and in the individual Tasting Rooms. Suspended by pairs of minimal aircraft cables, the fixtures are comprised of rectilinear wooden blocks of alder to match the ceiling with an LED light slot on the bottom.

The concrete board-form walls that from the exterior façade continue at the interior and provide a textured surface for a recessed LED light above.  Matching interior and exterior finish materials allowed for a blending between the two spaces,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The concrete board-form walls that from the exterior façade continue at the interior and provide a textured surface for a recessed LED light above. Matching interior and exterior finish materials allowed for a blending between the two spaces, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

Blending of Interior and Exterior

The distinction between the winery interior and the natural setting was intentionally blurred. Sliding glass Nana bi-fold doors span a 24-foot-wide opening between the Tasting Room and the exterior covered porch overlooking the vineyards to the west. The concrete floor and wood slat ceiling finishes continue uninterrupted between the interior and exterior. The Tasting Room space expands toward the covered porch and the crisp lines in the ceiling mirror the cultivated vineyard rows beyond.

The suspending ceiling of the Hospitality Room is comprised of long horizontal slats of varied widths and depths with a view of the surrounding vineyards through bi-fold Nana Walls.  Glass blade LED light fixtures hang between the slats in a staggered composition.  The slatted ceiling mitigates acoustical resonance and allows for flexible ventilation,  Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

The suspending ceiling of the Hospitality Room is comprised of long horizontal slats of varied widths and depths with a view of the surrounding vineyards through bi-fold Nana Walls. Glass blade LED light fixtures hang between the slats in a staggered composition. The slatted ceiling mitigates acoustical resonance and allows for flexible ventilation, Image Courtesy © Technical Imagery Studios

During a tasting, guests may admire the view of the estate vineyards to the west or alternately observe the cellar staff hard at work in the Crush and Fermentation Rooms through a glass wall to the east. Flanked by grapevines and fermentation tanks, the winemaking process is integral to the guest experience. As wine production weaves with wine hospitality, the philosophy of the Titus Vineyards brand translates into built form.

The site plan demonstrates that the building location was determined by a variety of local constraints including the Napa River flood boundary line to the West, Silverado Trail to the East, historic structures on the property, and traffic considerations associated with the nearby blind curve.  The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The site plan demonstrates that the building location was determined by a variety of local constraints including the Napa River flood boundary line to the West, Silverado Trail to the East, historic structures on the property, and traffic considerations associated with the nearby blind curve. The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The 3D-view of the Titus Winery project site depicts all the major project components including the Covered Crush Pad, Production Area, Fermentation, Barrel Storage Room, Administration, and Hospitality Room,  Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The 3D-view of the Titus Winery project site depicts all the major project components including the Covered Crush Pad, Production Area, Fermentation, Barrel Storage Room, Administration, and Hospitality Room, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The building section of the Hospitality/Administration Building describes varied-height layered horizontal roof planes over Hospitality and Production spaces.  Construction assembly components include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The building section of the Hospitality/Administration Building describes varied-height layered horizontal roof planes over Hospitality and Production spaces. Construction assembly components include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The early hand-sketches describe the evolution of the building plan with relation to the site plan.  The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River,  Image Courtesy © MH Architects

The early hand-sketches describe the evolution of the building plan with relation to the site plan. The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

A hand-sketch of the Titus Winery building plan illustrates the integration of Hospitality and Production spaces in one unified composition.  Hospitality spaces cluster on the west face of the building to take advantage of the vineyard view while Production spaces face the nearby road to expedite the flow of winemaking,  Image Courtesy © MH Architects

A hand-sketch of the Titus Winery building plan illustrates the integration of Hospitality and Production spaces in one unified composition. Hospitality spaces cluster on the west face of the building to take advantage of the vineyard view while Production spaces face the nearby road to expedite the flow of winemaking, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

Early exterior elevation hand-sketches describing a balanced composition of varied-height, layered horizontal roof planes.  The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames,  Image Courtesy © MH Architects

Early exterior elevation hand-sketches describing a balanced composition of varied-height, layered horizontal roof planes. The building was raised on an earthen berm to mitigate flood risk from the nearby Napa River. Exterior materials include cedar soffits, concrete board-form tilt-up walls, gunmetal blue panels above windows, and anodized aluminum window frames, Image Courtesy © MH Architects

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Category: Winery

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