Herzog & de Meuron
Project
1995
Realization
1996-1998

The winery is situated on an exceptional location in Napa Valley. Our client, the renowned Bordeaux wine producer, Christian Moeuix, recognized the potential of this terroir for producing quality grapes in comparison to numerous other vineyards. Early obsidian finds reveal that the vineyard was once an Indian settlement. Moreover, from the vineyard known as Napanook, wines of exceptional quality had already been produced in the mid 20th century. After ten years of replanting, Dominus reached a level of quality which reflected the full potential of the land. Thus, in 1995 Moueix and his wife, Cherise, commissioned Herzog & de Meuron to build a winery.

The building is divided into three functional units: the tank room with huge chrome tanks for the first stage of fermentation, the Barrique cellar where the wine matures in oak vats for two years, and the storeroom where the wine is bottled, packed in wooden cases, and stored until it is sold. We designed to house these three functional units in a linear building some 100m / 333ft long, 25m / 82ft wide, and 9m / 30ft high. The building bridges the main axis, the main path of the winery, and is thus in the midst of the vineyards. Vines in California can grow to a height well over 2m / 6ft, such that the building is completely integrated into the linear, geometric texture of the vineyard.

We have separated the functional units on the ground floor with covered passageways in-between. The main path of the vineyard passes through the largest of these. This large covered space serves as an open, public reception area, where paths, linking up all the important parts of the winery, intersect. This area accesses the Barrique cellar, the degustation room, the offices and roof terraces, the cellar man’s rooms, and the huge doors to the tank room. Guests are received in the degustation room to taste the wine. A glass wall provides a view of the entire cellar filled with wooden vats. The last unit, the storeroom, where the cases of wine are stored, lies to the south.

The climate in Napa Valley is extreme: very hot by day, very cold at night. We wanted to design a structure that would be able to take advantage of these conditions. In the United States air conditioning is automatically installed to maintain even room temperatures. Architectural strategies which activate the walls in order to regulate the temperatures are unknown.

In front of the façades, we placed gabions, a device used in river engineering, that is, wire containers filled with stones. Added to the walls, they form an inert mass that insulates the rooms against heat by day and cold at night. We chose local basalt that ranges from dark green to black and blends in beautifully with the landscape. The gabions are filled more or less densely as needed so that parts of the walls are very impenetrable while others allow the passage of light: natural light comes into the rooms during the day and artificial light seeps through the stones at night. You could describe our use of the gabions as kind of stone wickerwork with varying degrees of transparency, more like skin than like traditional masonry.

We built a first mock-up to scale in Basel to test the quality of varying transparencies as well as the technical feasibility of the structure. A second mock-up was built at full height of nine meters on the site in Yountville. These full-scale tests were necessary in order to become familiar with this new architectural element even if it is nothing but a wall of stones.

Herzog & de Meuron, 1997

137_CP_9905_745_MS
137_CP_9905_745_MS
137_CP_9905_747_MY
137_CP_9905_747_MY
137_CP_9905_701_MS
137_CP_9905_701_MS
137_CP_9905_738_MS
137_CP_9905_738_MS
137_CP_9905_748_MY
137_CP_9905_748_MY
137_CP_9610_516_HdM
137_CP_9610_516_HdM
137_CP_9905_715_MS
137_CP_9905_715_MS
137_CP_9905_709_MS
137_CP_9905_709_MS
137_CP_9905_756_MY
137_CP_9905_756_MY
137_CP_9610_534_HdM
137_CP_9610_534_HdM
137_CP_9905_751_HdM
137_CP_9905_751_HdM
137_CP_9610_533_HdM
137_CP_9610_533_HdM
137_CP_9905_726_MS
137_CP_9905_726_MS

Process

Site plan. The grounds before construction. Aerial view of the winery before construction.

137_DR_9705_001_siteplan
137_DR_9705_001_siteplan
137_SI_9505_506
137_SI_9505_506
137_SI_9505_507
137_SI_9505_507

Ground plan of upper floor. Ground plan of first floor. Longitudinal section.

137_DR_990701_502_upperfloor
137_DR_990701_502_upperfloor
137_DR_990701_500_groundlevel
137_DR_990701_500_groundlevel
137_DR_990701_501_longsec
137_DR_990701_501_longsec

Detail section of wall structure: stone baskets of steel construction. Supporting wall against landslides. Hut made of layered natural stones.

137_DT_9606_001_VertSection
137_DT_9606_001_VertSection
137_CO_9605_513
137_CO_9605_513
137_RFsb_500_stonehouse
137_RFsb_500_stonehouse

Section model of the access to the winery.

137_MO_505_15e
137_MO_505_15e

Initial mock-up with baskets in the architects’ yard. Mock-up of the façade on site. Scale of the winery. Natural stones in front of the partially finished façade.

137_MU_9505_500
137_MU_9505_500
137_CO_9605_512
137_CO_9605_512
137_DT_9505_500
137_DT_9505_500
137_CO_9605_507
137_CO_9605_507

The prefabricated concrete panels are placed with a crane. View of the interior of the concrete core. The entrance to the winery with the steel structure for the baskets. The clients, Cherise and Christian Moueix. The steel structure of the ceiling. Interior work. Roof and support structure for the natural stone façade.

137_CO_9605_504
137_CO_9605_504
137_CO_0000_f2-31
137_CO_0000_f2-31
137_CO_9605_506
137_CO_9605_506
137_CO_9605_518
137_CO_9605_518
137_CO_9605_510
137_CO_9605_510
137_CO_9605_515
137_CO_9605_515
137_CO_9605_509
137_CO_9605_509

The baskets were woven on site. Access to the partially finished winery. Inspection of a finished façade section. The stones were presorted by hand and filled into the baskets. A worker weaves the baskets with wire. The various stone sizes provide the façade with a lively structure. The tank shimmers through the large stones.

137_CO_9605_503
137_CO_9605_503
137_CO_9605_511
137_CO_9605_511
137_CO_9605_514
137_CO_9605_514
137_CO_9605_508
137_CO_9605_508
137_CO_9605_505
137_CO_9605_505
137_CO_9605_516
137_CO_9605_516
137_CO_9605_517
137_CO_9605_517

The metal mesh of the winery’s gate changes its transparency with the light. An elegant bridge stretches across a small stream on the access road. The roof with skylight boxes between stones from the façade material. The natural stones allow for plays of light inside the building. The use of a mesh door takes up the subject of transparency. The office installations are realized in glass. The office installations are realized in glass.

137_CP_9610_503_HdM
137_CP_9610_503_HdM
137_CO_9605_501
137_CO_9605_501
137_CP_0000_13741
137_CP_0000_13741
137_CP_9905_755_MS
137_CP_9905_755_MS
137_CP_9905_752_MS
137_CP_9905_752_MS
137_CP_9905_715_MY
137_CP_9905_715_MY
137_CP_9905_753_MY
137_CP_9905_753_MY
137_CP_9905_709_MS
137_CP_9905_709_MS

The view to the outside is filtered. The fermentation tanks behind the natural stone walls. The first harvest is brought in. Grape containers in the fermentation storage. The shell of the barrel basement. The heart of the house with oak barrels and a tasteful aesthetic. The door to the tasting room outside the barrel storage from inside. Reflection of the landscape in the door to the tasting room.

137_CP_9905_754_MY
137_CP_9905_754_MY
137_CP_9610_534_HdM
137_CP_9610_534_HdM
137_CP_9610_535_HdM
137_CP_9610_535_HdM
137_CP_9610_532_HdM
137_CP_9610_532_HdM
137_CP_0000_13755
137_CP_0000_13755
137_CP_9610_533_HdM
137_CP_9610_533_HdM
137_CP_9905_751_HdM
137_CP_9905_751_HdM
137_CP_9610_516_HdM
137_CP_9610_516_HdM

Making opposites tangible: the heaviness and mass of the stone from the outside.

137_CP_9905_748_MY
137_CP_9905_748_MY

The immaterial lightness of the light in the reflections inside the winery.

137_CP_9905_756_MY
137_CP_9905_756_MY

Team

Facts

Planning
This project was developed in collaboration with an architect licensed in the state of California acting as the "Architect of Record". Herzog & de Meuron is not licensed to practice architecture in the state of California.
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
General Planning: Wright Contracting, Inc, Santa Rosa, USA
Construction Management: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Construction Management: Valley Architects, San Francisco, USA
Electrical Engineering : Hansen & Slaughter, Inc., San Rafael, USA
HVAC Engineering: Larkin & Associates, Sebastopol, USA
Plumbing Engineering : Larkin & Associates, Sebastopol, USA
Structural Engineering: Zucco Fagent Associates, Santa Rosa, Califorinia, USA
Building Data
Gross floor area (GFA): 44'131 sqft, 4'100 sqm
Footprint: 36'597 sqft, 3'400 sqm
Gross volume (GV): 932'308 cbft, 26'400 cbm
Links
www.dominusestate.com

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 1992-1996. The Complete Works. Volume 3.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Chinese ed. Beijing, China Architecture & Building Press, 2010. Vol. No. 3.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2007.” 2nd rev. ed. Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 2007.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1981-2000. Between the Face and the Landscape. The Cunning of Cosmetics. Entre el Rostro y el Paisaje. La Astucia de la Cosmética.” 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Vol. No. 60+84, Madrid, El Croquis, 2005.

Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.): “Architecture and Urbanism. Herzog & de Meuron 1978-2002.” Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 02.2002.

Herzog & de Meuron. Natural History.” Edited by: Philip Ursprung. Exh. Cat. “Herzog & de Meuron. Archaeology of the Mind.” Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. 23 October 2002 – 6 April 2003. 2nd ed. Baden, Lars Müller, 2005.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva. Herzog & de Meuron 1980-2000.” Vol. No. 77, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 07.1999.

Mirko Zardini: “Il Muro, la Pelle e il “Decorated Shed”. The Wall, the Skin, the “Decorated Shed”.” In: Vincenzo Pavan (Ed.). “Spazio Pietra Architettura. Space Stone Architecture. Premio Internazionale Architetture di Pietra. International Award Architecture in Stone.” Milano, Faenza S.p.A., 1999. pp. 50-55.

Jacques Herzog, Sabine Kraft, Christian Kühn: “Mit allen Sinnen spüren. Jacques Herzog im Gespräch mit Sabine Kraft und Christian Kühn.” In: Sabine Kraft, Nikolaus Kuhnert, Günther Uhlig (Eds.). “Archplus. Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau. Architektur natürlich.” Vol. No. 142, Aachen, ARCH+ Verlag GmbH, 07.1998. pp. 32-39.

Raymund Ryan: Memories of Light, Curtains of Stone. In: Nobuyuki Yoshida (Ed.). “Architecture and Urbanism. Architecture in Stone.” Vol. No. 331, Tokyo, A+U Publishing Co., Ltd., 04.1998. pp. 24-27.

Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Harry Gugger: “Three Current Projects. Tate Gallery of Modern Art at Bankside in London. Kunstkiste Bonn. Dominus Winery Yountville-Napa. In: Herzog & de Meuron. Urban Projects. Collaboration with Artists. Three Current Projects. Exh. Cat. Architectures of Herzog & de Meuron: Portraits by Thomas Ruff.” TN Probe Exhibition Space, Tokyo. 22 November 1996 – 9 January 1997. Tokyo, TN Probe Toriizaka Networking, 1997. Vol. No. 4. pp. 119-141.