Architect Barbara Bestor Shakes Up Napa Valley With a Modernist Winery
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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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.
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.
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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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.