Bold. Rich. Elegant. Leaves a distinct impression of the vineyard. Reflects the Earth. Words and phrases often used to describe the wines that come from Novelty Hill Januik Winery, Woodinville, Wash., also can be used to describe the winery itself. Designed by Seattle-based integrated-design firm Mithun, the 31,000-square-foot (2880-m2) winery offers a personalized experience that links wine enthusiasts to award-winning wines. “The client wanted indoor and outdoor spaces so patrons could really have a connection to how the wine is made,” says Susan McNabb, senior associate at Mithun and project manager and project architect for Novelty Hill Januik Winery. “As you taste, you see the production and the landscape, which alludes to where the grapes are grown.”


OUTSIDE/INSIDE Woodinville is located in western Washington, an area of the state where the soil is damp and highly organic, creating less than ideal growing conditions for grapes. Therefore, grapes for Woodinville’s wineries come from eastern Washington, which has an arid climate. According to Deb Guenther, a principal with Mithun who led the landscape architecture, the landscape highlights the movement from one climate to another with the color of the ground plane.

“The importance of the soil's relationship to the character of the wine is shown by revealing the hillside as terraces step down to the wetland,” Guenther says. “The sun and shade terraces are in contrast, and the plant palette used reflects local plants, demonstrating a respect for the land.”

That respect for the land carries through to the design of the building. Although the 3.9-acre (1.6-hectare) site mostly was an open field, the few large trees that existed were protected during design and construction. One of the largest trees is a Pacific Northwest icon, a big-leaf maple that casts dancing shadows on the structure’s concrete walls as it welcomes patrons to the winery. In addition, the structure is set into the slope of the site to reduce the visual impact of the building from the road and utilize the natural cooling properties of the Earth.

The design team sought to blur the lines between inside and outside. “The project is set up with a series of concrete walls that organize the spaces in one direction; in the other direction there are glass walls, so if you’re in the tasting room you can see outside and into production,” McNabb explains.


The concrete walls not only provide the envelope of the structure, they also become the retaining walls and terraces in the outdoor spaces. The interior glass walls become a series of colored, translucent panels outside. Similarly, the interior wood floor extends to the outside terraces, and the interior ceiling canopy is mimicked by a tree canopy outside.  

“This concept of the indoors extending out and nature coming in was shared by the team,” McNabb says. “I think this project is a great case study about how integrated design really affects a project. It’s very obvious the landscape architects, architects and interior designers were working together because the inside and outside elements are knitted together seamlessly.”


INNATELY GREEN Because sustainability was not the sole focus of the design, Mithun’s team concentrated on simple use of materials, efficient design, a healthy facility and connection to nature.

A series of sun studies helped the team take advantage of the site’s natural resources. For example, garden spaces were placed on the south side of the building for maximum exposure to the sun. Double-glazed, acrylic-domed skylights were installed throughout the facility so electric lights are unnecessary most of the time. The skylights also provide the opportunity for patrons to see the sky and tree canopies above. Natural ventilation studies helped the team design outdoor spaces and place operable windows.


The team minimized the need for HVAC usage in the building by making cross ventilation a priority. Because of the potential for large gatherings—the entire winery can be rented for events—a 10-SEER, 5- to 7 1/2-ton (4.5- to 6.8-metric ton) HVAC system was necessary. The tilt-up-concrete walls, which consist of 7 to 16 inches (178 to 406 mm) of concrete with 2 inches (51 mm) of insulation sandwiched between a 2-inch (51-mm) concrete veneer, maintain the wine temperature. “We buried the barrel rooms into the Earth; with the natural properties of the Earth and concrete, it helps keep those spaces to 55 F [13 C],” McNabb explains. The roof is a metal deck with polyisocyanurate insulation and a light-colored single-ply membrane that complies with heat-island requirements.

To further reduce energy usage, the winery utilizes a wine refrigeration system that can maintain the temperature of the wine to very exact standards. “The system recognizes when the outside temperature is lower than the temperature it is trying to achieve inside and uses the ventilation rather than the compressors, condensers and air units to cool the wine,” McNabb says. Currently, the winery is saving more than 50,000 kilowatt hours of power with this system, which translates to a reduction of 25 percent in its energy bills.

Additional finishes were kept to a minimum within the winery. Materials that were added typically can be found in nature and are placed in areas where people congregate. For example, wood is a warm and inviting material in the tasting room. A basalt tasting bar and basalt water feature in the landscape allude to eastern Washington where Novelty Hill Januik Winery’s grapes are grown. “The basalt in the trough is from Stillwater Creek, the vineyard where the grapes were grown,” Guenther says. “The basalt in that area is more salt-and-pepper colored than the brown color typically associated with basalt.”


The design team worked with Mike Januik, the winemaker, to ensure the spaces were as healthy as possible, especially the production areas. “This is a place that makes quality wine so they wanted the architecture and interior environment to be equally as high quality,” McNabb remarks. “We made sure that low-VOC paints and stains were used. We chose materials that are very nonabsorptive. The massive concrete tilt-up panels have very few joints so they won’t need a lot of maintenance and can easily be washed down.” WINE INTO WATER

Water is essential to the wine-making process. Novelty Hill Januik Winery is part of the Salmon- Safe program, which is maintained by Stewardship Partners, Seattle. The program requires partners to use efficient irrigation practices, control erosion and runoff, protect wetlands and maintain overall watershed health. The winery is involved to ensure the water it uses in its processes is clean enough after use to support salmon communities.

The winery’s landscape-management practices also meet the Salmon-Safe program’s requirements. The design team chose landscape materials that are low maintenance; adaptive; and drought tolerant, including horsetail, red cedar, spruce, cascara and Oregon grape holly. Eco-turf, a mix of drought-tolerant grasses and perennials that require less watering and naturally occur together, limits the need for mowing and pesticides to manage weeds. The combination of droughttolerant plants and an efficient irrigation system contribute to reducing potable water use for irrigation by 63 percent.

During rain events, storm water is collected along the edges of the parking area through natural drainage. There are minimal curbs. “Rainwater flows over flush edges, and filter strips along the edge allow for infiltration,” Guenther explains. “A bioswale on one end with riprap-check dams slows the water and filters contaminants before heading into the wetland that connects to the Sammamish River.” Inside, the team further reduced water use by specifying low-flow toilets and faucets in the restrooms.


A TOTAL EXPERIENCE According to Guenther and McNabb, Novelty Hill Januik Winery’s success is based on the close collaboration of the design team, which provides visitors with a complete experience of landscape, building and interiors.


“It’s a creative place that truly is the client’s because they were very involved in the project. But they also trusted that we would deliver a space that was very special to them,” McNabb relates. “I think our team is very close, and our different disciplines working together from the very beginning all the way to the end was key to creating a cohesive project.” Novelty Hill and Januik are independent wineries that share a winemaker and now share a unique space. Wine lovers can run in for a glass of syrah before an event or spend an afternoon tasting wine with food while enjoying the space and beautiful landscape that reflect the story of the distinctive wine.


GREEN TEAM [ OWNER ] Tom Alberg and Judi Beck, Novelty Hill Januik Winery, Woodinville, Wash.,
[ ARCHITECT, INTERIOR DESIGNER AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT ] Mithun, Seattle,, in collaboration with landscape architect, Katherine Anderson
[ GENERAL CONTRACTOR ] Walsh Construction Co., Portland, Ore.,
[ ELECTRICAL ENGINEER ] PK Electric, Mercer Island, Wash.,
[ MECHANICAL ENGINEER ] Emerald Aire Inc., Auburn, Wash., (253) 872-5665
[ PLUMBING ENGINEER ] HV Engineering, Seattle,
[ IRRIGATION DESIGN ] Royal Waldock, University Place, Wash.,
[ DAYLIGHT AND NATURAL-VENTILATION CONSULTANTS ] Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, University of Oregon, Eugene,, and Joel Loveland, Betterbricks Daylighting Lab, University of Washington, Seattle,


ROOFING AND INSULATION / Single-ply membrane and perlite tapered insulation from FIBERTITE, Wooster, Ohio,
INSULATING GLASS / Solarban 60 Solar Control Low-e Glass Clear from PPG INDUSTRIES, Pittsburgh,
HVAC / YORK, York, Pa., 
LOW-FLOW FIXTURES / 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilets and 1-gallon-per-flush urinals from TOTO USA, Morrow, Ga.,,
and 2-gallon-per-minute showerhead from DELTA FAUCET CO., Indianapolis,
PAINT / Promar 200 Interior Latex from the SHERWIN-WILLIAMS CO., Cleveland,
WOOD FINISH / CWF Ultralast from FLOOD CO., Hudson, Ohio,
TABLES / reclaimed douglas fir and western red cedar by Kim Hoelting, LIVE EDGE WOODWORKS, Clinton, Wash.,
BENCH / Nathan Hartman, KERF DESIGN INC., Seattle,