MH Architects and Vonsaal Design Lock Down a Futuristic Look at The Prisoner Winery
The Prisoner Wine Company is likely as well-known for its labels—unmistakable Goya paintings of downcast, shackled inmates—as for the red and white blends in its bottles. So, when the owners took over a 40,000-square-foot winery just south of Napa Valley’s St. Helena, they needed to keep things dark. Which is where MH Architects’ Matt Hollis and Richard Von Saal of Napa-based Vonsaal Design Build came in.
“I’d be lying,” says Von Saal, “if a retro-futuristic prison didn’t come to mind.” He established an industrial palette of aluminum and patinated mirrored steel, with rough edges courtesy of extensive use of 200-year-old Mennonite beams. Correction facility vibes include racks that keep the wine in chains and cage seating for tasters throughout multiple lounges, outdoor spaces, and private rooms. And to let a little light in—and build some community—a social space called The Makery features a vaulted ceiling with a massive new skylight, eight feet wide and 57 feet long, offering a natural spotlight for rotating collaborations with local potters, chefs, and other artisans.