Cal Poly Students’ Designs for Moveable Wine Pavilion Available for Public Viewing Dec. 8 in San Luis Obispo

Architectural engineering major Issac Cameron, left, and architecture major Khanh Nguyen work on their model of an educational pavilion that will showcase the history of wine in San Luis Obispo County.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly architecture students Jerome Deck and Erica David leaned over an intricate structure of basswood, illustration board and polystyrene sheeting during a recent studio class, carefully working on their model of an educational pavilion to showcase the history of wine in San Luis Obispo County.

 They are two of three dozen architecture, architectural engineering and construction management students gaining an invaluable hands-on experience as they collaborate with peers to create a portable structure that may be visited by thousands of county residents and visitors.

Cal Poly is working with the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo County and Saucelito Canyon Vineyard to design a moveable, temporary structure to house exhibits and collections of historic wine tools and equipment. The project is headed up by three Cal Poly faculty members: Margaret Kirk of the Architecture Department; Dennis Bashaw of the Architectural Engineering Department; and Gregory Starzyk of the Construction Management Department.

The students, working in teams, will present the final eight designs to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, located at El Chorro Regional Park, 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo. One design will be announced as the winner at 3 p.m. on Dec. 8. Students will begin building the mobile structure in spring 2020.

“We’re providing an adaptable space so they’re able to display a diverse collection of wine history artifacts, from a wine bottle or a cork to grape crushers, barrel taps and vintage funnels,” Deck said. “It’s a temporary structure, so there’s no solid foundation, and it has to be easy to move. Those conditions, along with working as an interdisciplinary team and responding to feedback from a real client, have driven our design.”

The exhibit will be a temporary fixture at the Saucelito Canyon tasting room in Edna Valley through 2020. Depending on its size, the pavilion can be set up outside or indoors at vineyards, exhibit halls, parks, festivals and other public spaces.

“Our exhibits are often placed outside in vineyards and fields at historic sites and wineries to tell the stories of winemakers, grape growers and organizations that have shaped the history of our county,” said Libbie Agran, director of the Wine History Project.  “We want to have portable structures that can be moved anywhere to present educational exhibits in new and exciting venues.”

The theme for the pavilion is “Connection,” which relates to the mission of the Wine History Project, whose main focus is to research the history of winemaking and viticulture throughout San Luis Obispo County. The local wine industry began in the 1770s; today, the county has more than 250 wineries.

“Knowing that it’s going to be built is a lot of responsibility,” student Erick Vazquez said, noting that he’s the only architectural engineering major on his team. “I have a responsibility to ensure that we are providing a soundproof structure and to provide solutions for our pavilion in an efficient manner so my architecture and construction management teammates can proceed with their own work.

“I hope the community takes pride in knowing that students designed and built this project,” Vazquez added.

Wine History Project staff and representatives of Saucelito Canyon Winery, who have given input throughout the process, most recently reviewed the students’ work in Nov. 13. They were impressed by the creativity, technology and vision of the students, Agran said.

“We hope that by collaborating with Cal Poly, the public will recognize the worth of utilizing the university’s resources and students’ ideas for other countywide projects and activities,” Agran added.

Over the past two months, plans for a temporary wine pavilion exhibit have transformed from abstract ideas into concrete designs with intricate models made of wood, polycarbonate, aluminum and other materials. The students are using a practice of biomimicry, or looking to nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems.

Construction management student Albert Gutierrez’s team, inspired by a mollusk shell, designed a structure that arranges layers of canopies to mimic the layers of a shell.

“The challenge for me was to make sure that this can be reassembled and disassembled multiple times by hand,” Gutierrez said.

For many of the students, including Gutierrez, this interdisciplinary studio was their first experience working closely with peers in other majors within the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

“This course really prepares you for the real world,” he said, “because your career is going to be like this, communicating with other disciplines to complete a project.”

“It gives you a taste of the design process in the real world,” added architecture major Charley Picchiottino, whose team was inspired by the way the feathers of the small Northern Saw-whet Owl muffle noise. Her team’s design includes sliding wall panels so the structure can be adapted to the conditions of different sites.

“I’ve learned that you don’t always get what you want, but that’s not a bad thing,” Picchiottino said. “That collaboration can result in beautiful things.”

 Architecture student Khanh Nguyen works on her team’s model during a studio class Nov. 13 at Cal Poly.
Architecture student Khanh Nguyen works on her team’s model during a studio class Nov. 13 at Cal Poly.

Architecture student Erica David works on her team’s model. Visitors to their design would experience various features, including atrium lighting and seating areas, as they move through the project.
Architecture student Erica David works on her team’s model. Visitors to their design would experience various features, including atrium lighting and seating areas, as they move through the project.

Architecture student Kaustab Das works on his team’s model during a studio class on Nov. 13 at Cal Poly. His team has gone through several iterations before coming up with their current design.
Architecture student Kaustab Das works on his team’s model during a studio class on Nov. 13 at Cal Poly. His team has gone through several iterations before coming up with their current design.

Cal Poly Architecture Department faculty member Maggie Kirk gives feedback to a few architecture, architectural engineering and construction management students during a walkthrough event Nov. 13.
Cal Poly Architecture Department faculty member Maggie Kirk gives feedback to a few architecture, architectural engineering and construction management students during a walkthrough event Nov. 13.

In photo at the top,  Architectural engineering major Issac Cameron, left, and architecture major Khanh Nguyen work on their model of an educational pavilion that will showcase the history of wine in San Luis Obispo County.

Photos by Cal Poly University Photographer Joe Johnston. Higher-resolution images available upon request.

Contact: Ray Ladd
805-756-7432; rladd@calpoly.edu

November 21, 2019

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