Abbott Claim Winery / Soderstrom Architects + Ferar Studio
Text description provided by the architects. As Beck Family Estates’ first winery developed outside of South Africa, Abbott Claim is a thoughtful expression of the built form of the hills and the beauty of the Yamhill-Carlton region. The project features custom elements such as a living roof, a semi-circular barrel cellar, and an underground wine library lit from an oculus above. Large canopies provide weather protection and a screen for the milling mat and mobile bottling line.
Integration with Site. Abbott Claim’s design concept was driven by the owner’s desire to respect the existing character of the site. The design team subtly nestled the building into the hillside, minimizing its visual impact while taking advantage of the ideal aging conditions offered by an underground barrel cellar. The team also incorporated materials reflecting the beauty of the landscape. Tilting airfoil shaped panels were formed with Corten steel which was left in place as the outer skin. Combined with fully colored concrete, these materials evoke the color of the native soil, while the aerodynamic shape of the panels mimics the curvature of the surrounding hills. Precautions were also taken during construction to protect a large grove of ponderosa pines native to the Willamette Valley.
Design features. Because the building is largely located on a hillside, every opportunity has been taken to introduce natural light inside. Airfoil panels are spaced to accommodate narrow vertical windows between each panel, while clerestory glazing along the exterior walls of the fermentation room and in the interior office brings light into all areas. interior spaces. Similarly, an oculus above the wine library brings sunlight into the heart of the building.
Challenges. Throughout the process, the owner challenged the design team to conceal as much utility piping as possible. This was not an easy task for a production facility with a myriad of mechanical systems and proved particularly challenging when building the precast units, which had to incorporate all system components into tilt panels. individual concrete and arch sections. The effort required intense coordination between all team members, but paid off in the seamless and clean interiors. The vat room is largely uncluttered, thanks to mechanical flushes concealed on each side of the room, which are served by pipes hidden under the slab. The semicircular barrel cellar was formed with prefabricated vault sections. Additional prefabricated half-pipe elements were used to create a chase to conceal the sprinkler piping and electrical conduits. As a result, there are no ducts, garden hoses, or plumbing visible in the vaults of the barrel room.
Resolution. Abbott Claim is an achievement that meets seemingly opposing goals: to be an efficient wine production and aging facility, but also to have an understated serenity overall thanks to its concealed systems. The shape and materials of the facility blend into the surrounding hills without sacrificing the quality of interior materials or natural light. Any one of these purposes could have overshadowed the others, but the thoughtful location and design of the building strikes a perfect balance.