Architects: Ecotech Design
- Year : 2020
Photographs :Paul Vu
Manufacturers : Crate Modular
- Clients : Steve Cass, Ted Plemons, Cass Winery
- Manufacturer : CRATE Modular Inc., CRATE Modular Inc.
- City : Paso Robles
- Country : United States
Text description provided by the architects. The luxury bed-and-breakfast showcases 8 units and a reception area set in the middle of 145 acres of vibrant grapevines and rolling hills. Each BnB features recycled and locally-sourced sustainable materials and finishes and is perched above-covered parking and the surrounding vineyards. Ecotech Design developed the master plan and unit design primarily based on the use of recycled shipping containers set in clusters around an existing 60-foot live oak tree and in collaboration with the fabricator, CRATE MODULAR, and the winery co-owners, Steve Cass and Ted Plemons. The design integrates twenty factory-built, steel shipping containers with conventional construction and local building materials.
“The design was inspired by the vineyard itself,” said Walter Scott Perry, AIA, founder and principal of Ecotech Design and stalwart proponent of container architecture. “The most compelling attribute of this project is the use of modular components, in combination with recycled materials, to enhance the visual interest and create an impressive panoramic openness that connects interior spaces, walkways, and decks. These connect with the vineyard vistas beyond.” The grapevines at Cass Winery are planted in rows 8 feet apart, and the shipping containers also have an 8 foot-wide module. Thus, the idea of using a counterpoint matrix design concept evolved.
By offsetting all the building components both 4 feet horizontally and vertically, and in three separated clusters with different orientations, the result is a constant play of light and shadow on the buildings during the day, further articulating the scale of the building mass to be in scale with the vineyard architecture. “The structures become truly integrated with their environment,” explains Perry. “Both container units and the vineyard itself have been recycled - a time-tested adaptive-reuse design strategy.” Seven BnB units are composed of two 20-foot containers and one 12-foot high clerestory element, each with raised decks at the entry and rear. In addition, a deluxe bridal suite is composed of one 40-foot and one 20-foot container unit. An office cluster uses four 20-foot containers with a large, communal deck and reception areas under a live oak tree.
The exterior color palettes complement the various wine labels used at Cass Winery. The buildings are raised dramatically above the vineyard on steel piloti to create a covered parking area, and enhance views over the surrounding wine country. A 12-foot high “cathedral ceiling” clerestory with operable windows enhances natural ventilation and daylighting to conserve energy and support healthier interiors. The elevated ceiling visually opens up the lower, adjacent container spaces.
Exterior materials are locally sourced non-outgassing, recycled corten steel, and naturally distressed structural steel, glass, cement board, recycled decking. Winery barn materials and recycled agricultural structures were repurposed to become the interior ceiling and floor finishes. Roofs were designed for future solar, green roofs, and other sustainable add-ons.