Architectural Resources Group

Architectural Resources Group

West Coast-based architecture firm, Architectural Resources Group, is well-known for its careful and thoughtful design treatment of historic architecture.  As you’ll see in the Kistler Vineyard Barn project, their designs also display impeccable aesthetics. Charles Edwin Chase, principal and director of planning for ARG provides the details.

Architectural Resources GroupHF: Is there a style Architectural Resources Group is known for?
CC: ARG works across a broad spectrum of building types that reflect past architectural styles. I think we are best known for our approach to infusing new uses into historic environments, and buildings. The range of properties we have had the honor to work on represent historic architecture in the West from Mexican colonial era adobes, nineteenth century wineries in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Art Deco and Streamline modern movie houses in San Francisco and Oakland to modernist mid-century modern restaurants in Los Angeles, and visitor reception and administration buildings for the National Park Service in Death Valley, California.

HF: How do clients find out about you?
CC: In many cases, our clients come from referrals and responses to formal requests from government agencies and institutional organizations. With thirty-seven years in the practice of architecture specializing in the adaptive use of historic properties, we are known in the western United States for the quality of our architectural projects and expertise in the conservation of historic building materials. We have grown from a San Francisco firm adding offices in Pasadena, California and Portland, Oregon. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients, design and construction professionals, and local governments. Our strong working relationships lead to continued and new work.

HF: What is your favorite part of the job?
CC: Working with people who love historic buildings. We work with a variety of clients, as our practice includes architecture, planning and conservation. Our clients have one common characteristic: each believes historic sites and properties are important to them personally, for their organizations and are good for their businesses.

HF: How was Hubbardton Forge lighting selected for the Kistler Vineyards project?
CC: We have been a fan of Hubbardton Forge lighting for a long time as it represents the perfect intersection of substantial materials, fine craftsmanship and detail with a modern design aesthetic. Because our clients look to us for solutions that will renew and extend the life of their buildings, we look for products that reflect those qualities through craftsmanship and design that speaks of our time.

For the Kistler Vineyard project we were looking for lighting that would provide that modern element within the barn’s rustic setting without feeling foreign or out of place. Our inclination was to find a strong and beautiful element that could stand up against the expanse of rough sawn redwood siding while providing warmth through reflected light. The fixture would need to convey the same honest strength of materials. We found all of that in the large Corona pendants.

Architectural Resources Group
HF: What were the “must-have” requests from the clients on this project?
CC: The requirements of temperature control and interior finishes for the barrel storage areas within the building were critical for our client. The barrel rooms are lined with limestone from the area, maintain a precise temperature, and provide an opportunity for visitors to see into the storage spaces.

In addition, the client wanted a less formal place for wine tasting than the main building, a house in the vineyard we rehabilitated for tastings in 2015. The approach was to provide a comfortable and engaging space with a connection to the surrounding vineyard. It had to have all the physical characteristics of the existing barn, and seat up to twenty-four for tastings or casual gatherings of its wine club members.

HF: What was the biggest challenge in this design?
CC: The largest challenge adapting an uninsulated utilitarian barn into a wine making and tasting venue was temperature control for specific spaces where wine wants to be cold and humid, and people want to be warm and dry. Concealing the equipment and piping necessary to create a highly controlled environment for the barrel rooms and create a warm and inviting space for tasting was at the forefront of our thinking throughout the project.

Architectural Resources Group

HF: What’s your favorite thing about it?
CC: The most satisfying was to sustainably repurpose all of the existing barn framing, siding, and roofing. After inserting a new framing system to meet current seismic requirements we salvaged nearly all of the building’s wood materials for reuse as interior wall and ceiling finishes as well as the movable tasting room table tops. We were able to include subtle hints to the Kistler brand through the color of the barn doors and the chair fabric. Each is a match to the foil cover on Kistler Pinot Noir bottles.

HF: What’s the one style trend that you wish would make a comeback?
CC: That the quality of materials and a pride in workmanship would prevail over quantity and disposability.

HF: What trend would you be happy to see go away?
CC: Our penchant to disguise one material as another. It would be so much more satisfying to allow the inherent qualities of both traditional and modern materials to come through rather than be covered or concealed.

ARG’s PROJECT FEATURES: CORONA LARGE PENDANT

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