Architect Barbara Bestor Shakes Up Napa Valley With a Modernist Winery

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By Laura Mauk
Ashes & Diamonds winery in Napa Valley, California, is a modernist destination that’s full of flavor and color.

Inspired by the iconic, modern buildings devised by Albert Frey and Donald Wexler, Barbara Bestor’s design for Ashes & Diamonds winery in Napa, California, is a bright, white, geometric display that marks the cinematic valley landscape of rolling hills and vineyard rows.

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Architect Barbara Bestor Shakes Up Napa Valley With a Modernist Winery - Photo 1 of 7 -

The winery, located a stone’s throw away from downtown Napa, comprises two simple, rectangular buildings. The larger, two-level wine production facility, which is sided with pre-engineered metal panels, features an industrial aesthetic and is punctuated by large portholes that reference works by Frey. 

The wine production facility is clad with metal panels and features a trio of portholes on the front facade. 

The wine production facility is clad with metal panels and features a trio of portholes on the front facade. 

Bestor created a lighter and more residential feel for the tasting room—a smaller, single-level, stucco-clad construction—by employing a folded-plate, pavilion-style canopy over the building’s flat roof. The dynamic form mimics the valley hills and helps to mitigate bright sunlight. 

The tasting room is shaded by a folded plate canopy that recalls the modernist designs of architect Donald Wexler.

The tasting room is shaded by a folded plate canopy that recalls the modernist designs of architect Donald Wexler.

Bestor also gave the tasting room her signature dose of brilliant color application, painting a massive pivot front door a radiant shade of yellow and designating a bar area in the open-plan space with kelly green accents that enliven both the interior and the exterior of the building. The furnishings selection for the tasting room is equally vivid and includes Eero Saarinen-designed chairs from Knoll, upholstered in brilliant purple and yellow fabric, and multicolor woven rugs from North Africa. A Jean Prouve-designed desk-turned-communal table, Douglas fir siding, and terrazzo floors add texture and warmth to the space. 

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The interior of the tasting room is outfitted with Eero Saarinen-designed chairs, North African rugs, Douglas fir siding, and a terrazzo floor.

The interior of the tasting room is outfitted with Eero Saarinen-designed chairs, North African rugs, Douglas fir siding, and a terrazzo floor.

Green wall paint marks the bar area of the tasting room, where Warren Platner-designed chairs from Knoll encircle a Jean Prouve-designed table.

Green wall paint marks the bar area of the tasting room, where Warren Platner-designed chairs from Knoll encircle a Jean Prouve-designed table.

Owner Kashy Khaledi, who commissioned Bestor to create the winery’s modernist design, is no stranger to the architect’s graphic and dynamic approach—the two met previously when Bestor began a friendship with the Beastie Boys’ Mike Diamond, and Khaledi worked as a music executive for the group’s record label. Bestor is also known for her design for the Beats by Dre headquarters in Culver City, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Silver Lake, and more recently, for her restoration of John Lautner’s historic Silvertop residence in Silver Lake. 

Massive glass doors slide open and connect the tasting room to the Napa landscape.

Massive glass doors slide open and connect the tasting room to the Napa landscape.

Outdoor seating areas provide additional places to drink wine and take in the landscape.

Outdoor seating areas provide additional places to drink wine and take in the landscape.

Learn more about Ashes & Diamonds winery in Napa, California.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Bestor Architecture / @bestorarchitecture