Tuesday, April 15, 2014

14 Hands Winery - from Wine label to brand experience

The Windswept product adds style, sophistication and practicality to what we designers have long called for ~ a reclaimed appearance with the stability and structural integrity of new wood backed by industry associaons, and at nearly half the investment of reclaimed woods with minimal waste. This combined with the warm Eco-­Story yields a fresh environmental chronicle.

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Prosser, WA
12,200 sf combinedRead full article 

Situated in the picturesque Horse Heaven Hills sits one of the most well respected American wineries; Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 14 Hands vineyards. Critically acclaimed, this Washington wine’s success grew from the shelves of restaurants and select retailers. Ste. Michelle desired a new tasting facility to be the first platform for 14experience with their already established and successful wine.

BCRA first launched the design process for a new tasting room with an abstract understanding of what the 14 Hands brand experience could be. While 14 Hands celebrates successful varietals, and hails as the official Wine of the Kentucky derby, the customer experience of the wine itself lacked definition. The existing label artwork was the only existing visual expression of their brand. It highlights wild horses, known to be 14 hands tall, that used to be abundant in the Horse Heaven Hills region. Ste. Michelle executives also expressed a desire for a “Cowboy Nouveau" tasting experience.

Our design team’s branding effort began by conceptualizing the space with written narrative. Then came a cross disciplinary approach; bringing together Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Graphic Design working together to capture the unbridled spirit of the brand in a three-dimensional space. 
The site was unique; Ste. Michelle was faced with a decision to utilize a site with an existing 43,000 sf production facility or search for a new location. Many local wineries set up small shops with a mall-like approach to tasting, alluring visitors with one-stop shopping. In turn, this has removed visitors from the craft of wine making itself. BCRA’s designers sought to honor the age old traditions of the region complimented with today’s modern authenticity of the wine making process.
Much like the agrarian concept of farm growth over time, BCRA demonstrated the existing site could organically evolve to accommodate 14 Hands in a variety of ways, including a large 50’ x 20’ mural of the famed label artwork to create a minimalist illusion of a vast building. Moving from the warehouse, slightly rotating the orientation of the 2700 sf addition smoothly transitions the interior and exterior space. Finally, a spacious courtyard flanked by topographic walls break up the view from the parking lot and bring a visual line of interest to the open sky and surrounding hills.
Windswept Weathered Wood was utilized exclusively for all interior and exterior elevations, creating a timeless space complimenting the genuine and authentic ethos of 14 Hands brand.
A Western Red Cedar substrate was chosen for the exterior elevation while the warm and powerful Eco-Story of utilizing fallen or standing-dead beetle-kill Engelmann-Spruce Lodgepole Pine trees from the Colorado Rocky Mountain regions. 

Glen Ehrhardt, Business Development
Windswept Weathered Wood
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256
email windswept.rep@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forward to the Past: A Look to a Purpose - 

This home settles into the hillside to capture views without dominating its surroundings.
The Contours were starting a new chapter in their lives, retiring from California and wanting a place in the Virginia Piedmont where they could work; he could jam with his musician friends; they could entertain and be close yet visually separate from the neighboring communities, including nearby Roanoke; and their children had a commodious place to visit.
The existing early 1800s cabin on the property was inspirational, but not functional for their needs, recalls Peter LaBau, their regionally based architect. It wasn’t salvageable, “but did have exposed stone on the foundation and a rambling look with older and newer pieces joined, and that really moved them," he says.
“They wanted a central core, as the original cabin had been, with a voluminous feel inside and appendages working off of that. She also liked the idea of blending in more contemporary flavors so that it wasn’t just a period knock-off.”  Some of the new residents settling in the interior solution were a compartmentalization of spaces. His office is on the lower level and rather simple to accommodate his nocturnal work habits, and it is adjacent to his acoustically isolated music room. Her office and bedroom are directly above with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge, owing to her love of day-lighted space. A berm separates the house visually from their nearest neighbor about a quarter of a mile away.

The house is situated on a modest plateau enlarged from the original hillside clearing. The approach is steep and winding, with the first element that comes into view being a stabilized outbuilding, which serves as much as a folly as a storage area, LaBau says. The drive ascends just beyond the house to an overlooking garage connected to the house via a pergola. The home’s footprint—including a modest landscaped yard (more of a 45-degree sloped rock garden)—takes up only a modest amount of the couple’s hillside forest acreage. Boulders and large rocks salvaged from the site became recreated outcroppings.

A rustic exterior with contemporary detailing hints at the comfortable and well-appointed interior amenities.
The building materials were also chosen to evoke a feeling of age and accumulation. The structure is timber with steel roof spans, and the look of structural stone is created from a cultured stone exterior finish that came in at $3 a foot. “This stuff gets better all the time,” LaBau extolled. “And we set it without grout so that it looks dry laid.”
The timber frame was pre-manufactured by Connor Homes, whose owner LaBau knew when he worked in New England. Shipping to Virginia added embodied waste energy, but otherwise the materials are sustainably harvested locally to the Connor factory. Their waste factor is 7 percent that of stick-built framing, the lumber is superb, and they deliver factory efficiency, LaBau explains.

Another major factor in making the home appear as if it had evolved over generations was the look of the exterior siding. “When Erin first came to me, she brought photographs of Western structures with the once-painted-now-faded look, which they really wanted,” LaBau says. “And it was totally fortuitous that a cold e-mail came to me soon after from Harvest Timber Specialty Products,” (which now works locally through the Eastern Seaboard distributor WT Fary Brothers, LLC out of Gloucester, VA).

“I wanted to use reclaimed materials on the cladding. But for an exterior application, I was really reluctant to use something that wouldn’t last. “The siding from Harvest Timber Specialty Products, though, is harvested from beetle-killed trees, which they cut before it has deteriorated. So instead of fueling the massive forest fires we’ve been seeing out West, this timber sequesters that accumulated carbon. They mill it and give it a textured surface and treat it so that the wood can be re-coated in the future and will last for many years. We chose three different colors for each of the separate building sections to achieve the look the client wanted.”

For more information contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, Business Development
PO Box 59 Lakebay, WA 98349
t.  253.884.6255
e.  glen@harvest-timber.com