Volume 28, Issue 3 - May/June 2014


Wine with a View

"Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A good quote, says the team over at Hall Winery in St. Helena, Calif., with one modification: wine—and good views—rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues. Winery president Mike Reynolds says that providing an unobstructed visit and views of the scenery surrounding the building were the main focus of design in building the St. Helena Visitor Center.

“We really wanted to showcase the spectacular views from the winery in all directions and integrate the hospitality experience with the outdoor experience,” says Reynolds.

Reynolds says the structural glazing used to complete the building adds a “wow-factor,” second only to the views themselves.

“The really interesting thing for me is that it’s a structural glass construction, meaning that the glass is hanging from the roof rather than being supported from below,” he states. “Rather than a traditional storefront glass, it’s actually just glass held together by a spider-type connection. If you look at it hanging from above, there are vertical fins. Rather than having the mullions in the windows that interrupt the view, we only have glass throughout.”

“We used all structural glazing for the façade,” says Jarrod Denton, partner at Signum Architecture in St. Helena, Calif. “We wanted really high visible transmittance; this glass is 67 percent … it makes for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition.”

Radial walls separate the tasting areas.

“The structural glazing—the fins—come in and touch the radial walls … so when you’re standing within any point within the hospitality area you feel as though you’re standing out on a balcony. The glass fins are held 8 feet above your head,” Denton adds.

When selecting the glass for the LEED Gold Certification-pending building, Reynolds says wine temperature was a concern.

“Obviously, there are temperature needs so we had to make sure the provisional space inside would not overheat … All of our wine buildings are built to LEED specifications. This is actually the first [pending] LEED Gold winery in the state of California,” Reynolds adds.

Hall Winery’s glass is structural glazing from Systems West in Guangdong, China. Troy McKinley of Hathaway Dinwiddie in San Francisco served as the project manager/general contractor.


Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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