House of Flowers
Walker Warner Architects
Flowers Vineyards & Winery was looking for a venue to showcase their sustainably produced wines within a setting that expressed their nature-based ethos. After securing an estate in Healdsburg with a deteriorated winery, a complete renovation and expansion became the perfect union of context and intent. Previously a warehouse with modest wine tasting facilities, remodeling the existing structures rather than building anew aligned with Flowers’ commitment to sustainability. The approach, which enabled most of the original structure to be ‘recycled,’ gave focus to the design efforts, elevating what was already present.
The transformation involved reconfiguring spaces within the existing footprint to place more emphasis on the visitor experience versus production areas. In addition, the ceiling height was increased to add volume and light to the interiors while still creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. By visually refining the structures, simplifying the palette and abstracting the traditional vernacular detailing, the architecture honors the local agrarian context while curating an extraordinary experience for its guests.
Set within a redwood grove, the existing buildings were largely disconnected from their rich landscape. The strategy was to find ways to reconnect visitors to the landscape. This began by investing the site with a sense of orientation and a new procession through space. The new experience was designed to reveal itself slowly, each step choreographed to build upon the preceding movement and emphasize contrasts and connections. It begins with the entry sequence through the grove of redwoods which leads you to the building with its dark stained exterior skin, nestled in the shadows. After moving along the path, the main entry’s glowing interiors of bald cypress siding serve as a beacon that invites you in, completing the yin-yang (dark-light) relationship of outside to inside. Visitors then walk up the dramatic staircase and as they rise, the gardens and the sweeping views across the vineyards are framed and finally revealed, drawing you out into the landscape.
The renovation knits building with topography, resulting in a multi-level facility that preserves the modest vernacular forms while providing seamless access to the stunning views and gardens afforded by the hilltop. The airy hilltop structure serves as a transition to the spacious gardens and provides sheltered seating and amenity spaces, including an outdoor wood-fired oven. Together, landscape and architecture combine to provide a quiet refuge, a place to celebrate community and friends through the experience of wine.
Key Team Members
About the organization
Walker Warner Architects is a full-service architectural firm specializing in custom residential and estate design, as well as winery, commercial office and recreation club design in the Western United States and Hawaii. Founded in 1989 by Brooks Walker and Greg Warner, today the firm is led by Brooks and Greg in collaboration with principals Mike McCabe and Kathy Scott. We pride ourselves on creating meaningful architectural works, as well as continuously evolving and challenging our design capabilities. Our rigorous design approach ensures that every project receives the highest level of attention and service with each principal playing an active role in shaping the design direction.