Sunday, November 8, 2015

14 Hands Wins Retail Project of the Year

BCRA design firm advised us last night that our 14 Hands tasting room project won Retail Project of the Year at the NAIOP Night of the Stars event!  “Your Windswept Weathered wood product, craftsmanship and attention to detail were an integral part of the project’s success,” says Kela Gribbons of BCRA.  “We appreciate your partnership and hope we continue to work on many more together.  Thank you!”

BCRA specified our weathered, barn wood appearance siding for both the interior and exterior elevations. “The authentic nature and genuine feel of the Windswept product was ideally suited for the ethos of 14 Hands.  Many products were utilized adding to the overwhelming success of this project but Windswept clearly established the tone we were seeking”, Kela adds.

About 14 Hands

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 14 Hands to create a cohesive customer experience 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. 

Honoring Today's Winemaking Process

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.

A connected space

The seamless integration of the wine tasting facility and courtyard also sets the stage for future expansions. The 9,500 sf exterior courtyard accommodates 150 guests and prominently features custom sculptural art of wild horses galloping in a bubbling fountain. A gate extends from the sculpture to enclose the space and delineate spatial privacy for private events. Crushed aggregate tunes the visitors senses with the rawness of the land while tall perennial grasses flow in the wind, mimicking the perpetual movement in the region’s rolling hills.

Nodding to the deep agricultural history of the west, many elements of the interior space feature recycled materials reminiscent of the era. Tooled leather on walls, exposed rough beetle kill wood siding and punch tin covered cabinetry adorns the space. Reclaimed wood on the walls feature large graphic panels evocative of weathered barn advertising, exhibiting tones of the 14 Hands winemaking process. A vast 26 foot long, custom old western-inspired bar welcomes discerning wine connoisseurs while industrial style bistro tables and leather lounge furniture invite conversation areas for casual visitors alike.  Fabricated from corrugated steel, a large custom chandelier resonates the free spirit of wild horses. Throughout the interior and exterior area, the variety of textures creates a relaxed space reflecting the approachable 14 Hands brand that their customers identify with.
To accommodate large crowds, Ste. Michelle also sought a flexible space suitable for receptions and events, but also configurable for intimate gatherings.  A warming kitchen hides behind the punch tin wine bar cabinetry for easy catering access. The oversized tilt-up doors that provide access to the courtyard also serve as welcoming awnings through the interior and exterior space. A double-sided fireplace warms seating for the modern ottoman inside and welcomes visitors to enjoy the traditional woven furniture outside. To allow visitors to connect directly with 14 Hand’s vintner and today’s modern winemaking process, a glass wall adjoins the existing production faculty with the tasting room. Finally, above the lower level hangs a ‘hay loft’ accommodating VIP guests for private tastings at an oversized farm table.

For information about Windswept Weathered Wood contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products

PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cozy Ranch House Embraces the Beauty of Nature

Tour ISSUU Digital Publication
When Mike and Stephanie Tuttle were ready to move to East Texas after living in the Dallas area, they insisted on a few things: lots of a space for their horses to roam and a comfortable home in the country surrounded by the beauty of nature.

They found property in the Garden Valley area that has pine covered hills, open pastures and a beautiful 25-acre lake. It was exactly what they wanted. However, the decades-old house on the property was too small and did not meet their needs.

“It was really segmented and very chopped up,” says Mrs. Tuttle.
The best thing about the house was that it was perfectly positioned on a hill overlooking the lake on one side and trees on another.

Their solution was to strip the existing structure down to its foundation, stone fireplace and studs and start over. They called in Bill Andreason of Heritage Builders in Lindale to oversee the project.

The new home is a two-story story ranch with lots of stonework and timbering. When pressed to define the architectural style, Andreason simply calls it rustic elegance.

The first floor is dominated by a great room with a 22-foot high pitched ceiling supported by large wooden beams. The great room encompasses a living area centered around a towering fireplace. Dominant features include a chandelier made from dozens of pairs of antlers and a wall of large windows that looks out on woods where deer are spotted on many afternoons.

In another section of this open space is the kitchen with industrial-grade appliances and marble countertops.
The first floor also houses the master bedroom suite and both his and her offices. Mr. Tuttle jokes that his wife, got the better of the two office spaces. In one of their previous houses, he had a huge office. This time he wanted something much smaller.

The second floor houses three guest bedrooms, a workout room and common space on the landing at the top of the stairs.
Mrs. Tuttle used the talents of interior designer Patricia Ridnour of Dallas, with whom she has worked for years, to help her furnish and decorate. Furnishings include antiques with sentimental value that have been in the family for years and new pieces specifically selected for the home.

A pair of fat raccoons paddling a canoe filled with apples forms the whimsical centerpiece on the table in the great room and reflects both their love of nature and sense of fun. A portion of the weathered wooden flooring saved from the original home was repurposed as a decorative element on some of the walls.
The house also holds surprises. Space under the stairway is a secret play room for their grandchildren. Some of the doors are disguised to blend into the walls.

Mr. Tuttle’s favorite features are located outside where tons of white stone mined from a quarry in Oklahoma create spaces for relaxation and entertainment.

“Look at my redneck bathtub,” he says pointing out the  tub located in an open-air, yet private, bathroom in the back of the house. A shower is only steps away. And yes, he sometimes uses both the tub and shower.
On another stone landing sits a fire pit surrounded by red lounging chairs. Nearby, a fountain sprays out water which tumbles down a rock-lined stream into a pond at the bottom of the hill.

Other outdoor features are a fully-functional kitchen and covered living room and a screened-in porch that lets the breeze in but keeps the bugs out. The Tuttles added a balcony off one of the second-story guest room to take advantage of a spectacular view of the lake.  Andreason, who builds homes in many sizes and price ranges, says that the words cozy and comfortable kept coming up when working with Tuttles.
“They wanted different areas, both inside and outside, that would give cozy, enjoyable spaces to congregate in.” The Tuttles couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things turned out. Mr. Tuttle says the ranch retreat provides an escape from the pressures of work. Mrs. Tuttle says the house feels intimate yet is big enough for when their grown children visit with the grandkids and when they frequently have friends over to entertain.
From comfortable furnishings, to relaxing porches to beautiful views, it’s a place that puts people at ease.

For more information contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products

PO Box 59 

Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256