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The Alexander Valley, Healdsburg, California

When Eugene A. Silva Architect was first contacted by David Elliot, Winemaker and General Manager of Lancaster Vineyards Inc., wine caves were being constructed at the site. The task was to fit a new winery structure between the newly constructed cave portals which were to have a vertical height difference of about 8 feet. The new structure consists of about 10,000 sq. ft. of enclosed building area with an additional 4500 sq. ft. of exterior covered work areas. The building was constructed using an ICF (insulated concrete forming) system which consists of interlocking polystyrene “Lego” blocks which are filled with reinforced concrete. After extensive research, ARXX (formerly Blue Maxx) was chosen to provide the ICF blocks and the bracing system. The finished walls consist of an interior surface material, 2 inches of polystyrene form, 8 inches of reinforced concrete, 2 inches of polystyrene foam and mechanically fastened exterior cement plaster. The exterior plaster (stucco) and poured in place concrete walls were stained with an aqueous solution of ferrous sulfate (iron) for an instant aged effect. Additionally, control joints were left out of the exterior plaster to encourage cracking.

A curved steel roof structure was chosen for the exterior work areas mimicking the green canopy of the existing oak trees on the hillside above the winery. The open web steel trusses (tree branches) were left exposed under the roof and is supported by stained cylindrical reinforced concrete columns (tree trunks).

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