I LOVE gabion walls.

I don’t think you need to say much about a gabion wall because the simplicity, structure, power and just the essence of it speaks for itself.  The nature of the material IS the color and texture and pattern…it is what it is…and in my opinion – just perfect.  I have been wanting to go visit the Dominus Winery forever!  The winery is an incredible gabion building (!) by Herzog & De Meuron.  It was built to integrate into the landscape, almost disappearing, allowing the winery to be what it should be – most important.  Using basalt rocks as the buildings’ skin allows natural light to filter in the entire building (beautifully!), while keeping it naturally insulated, and especially cool in the extreme summer heat of the Napa Valley.

We had friends visiting us this weekend, one who also happens to be a landscape designer and fan of gabions, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to go visit the winery up in Yountville.  It was a beautiful Spring day so we headed up to the Napa Valley for lunch and some architectural inspiration… We pulled into the winery and low and behold – a (very) small sign posted just to the side of the large white entrance gate said…’No Tastings.  No Tours”…What??  A winery that does not do tastings or tours??  A building SO incredible that does not allow tours??  Needless to say we were devastated.  I have been doing some research since then, determined to get in to see the building, and have found that they do allow occasional private architectural tours, so I will be on a personal mission to get in to see it some day!!  I will of course keep you posted on that, but in the mean time, here are some wonderful found images of the winery.  Enjoy…

Images via Architectural Week, Dezeen, Arch|MYC Studio, Dominus Estate