Walker Warner Architects has been awarded a coveted Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIA SF) chapter for the newly completed Quintessa Pavilions in Napa Valley, Calif. The firm designed the original Quintessa Estate Winery in 2003. Walker Warner Architects’ portfolio of estate projects and custom residences in the Western United States and Hawaii showcases simple elegance and sensitivity to the environment.
An ideal fusion of architecture and nature
Situated on a ridgeline within the breathtaking 280-acre Quintessa Estate in Napa Valley, the Quintessa Pavilions exemplify the ideal fusion of architecture and nature. Carefully sited amongst existing oak trees, each pavilion was built with environmental sensitivity in mind. The overall design echoes the existing winery with an industrial material palette that ages and weathers elegantly.
The pavilions are a series of independent 250-square-foot structures, each designed to provide an immersive, privately hosted wine-tasting experience in the landscape. As modest additions to an established 280-acre winery estate in Napa Valley, each pavilion reflects Quintessa’s desire for architecture that will harmonize with the natural surroundings of the property. Accordingly, each pavilion is carefully sited to protect visitors from the elements while also preserving the existing mature oak trees. The result is a unique wine-tasting experience that can be utilized year-round despite weather conditions.
Thoughtfully designed and sustainably built
The design of the pavilions echoes the existing winery in its environmental sensitivity and material palette of durable, sustainable materials that age and weather well. Running parallel to the ridgeline, a bold blade-like concrete wall made with fly ash forms the pavilion entry where a doorway is carved out to reveal the panoramic view from the terrace to the vineyards beyond. The prefabricated steel structure creates long roof overhangs that protect visitors from the elements while expansive walls of operable doors help to maximize the openness for light, views and cross ventilation. The low retaining walls are made of Napa syar stone and the terrace surface is made of locally prefabricated concrete pavers. Casework and ceilings are made of reclaimed Sinker cypress chosen for its durability and warmth. Custom furnishings made from FSC Certified Afromosia are designed to accommodate a range of group sizes. The surrounding plantings are drought resistant native grasses intended to soften the transition from the pavilions to the vineyards.
A celebration of place
Walker Warner Architects principal Mike McCabe, who accepted the award on behalf of the project team, noted, “As with all of our projects, the Quintessa Pavilions embody our belief in the essential connection of design to its context, particularly nature.” He adds, “We are honored by this commission from our long-time clients, the Huneeus family. Walker Warner worked with the founders of Quintessa, Valeria and Agustin Huneeus, on the design of the original winery and we have continued this inspired partnership with their son Agustin Francisco Huneeus and his wife, interior designer Maca Huneeus, on the design of the Pavilions.”