Completion 2013
Architect Boxwood
Owner South Seattle College & Washington State Department of Enterprise Services
Awards 2015 ACEC Washington Design Excellence Silver Award for Meeting or Exceeding Client Needs

When South Seattle College decided to turn their machine shop into a teaching winery, they trusted FSi to be their mechanical, plumbing, and winery systems engineer for the project. We took a holistic view of the project, looking at each of the functions in the building, from science lab to teaching kitchen to full winery and barrel storage. To meet the unique requirements for each space, we developed systems able to meet very specific temperature, health, and safety requirements for each function, while still working together as a single system within the building.

“We are so excited about the new space for so many reasons,” Regina Daigneault, Program Coordinator for NWWA told us. “We have a separate space for each function… we’re able to do things we could never do before!” Our team worked closely with stakeholders to meet a large wish list of project goals. Instructors, students, college administration and maintenance, State of Washington staff, and industry partners all met for a design charrette to brainstorm ideas for the new facility. The design team considered them all, including a pizza oven, which we all realized was a great idea to support events, which are a priority for the program. Stakeholders identified an overall goal of a teaching facility that could be used for 25 years as the program grows and evolves, and which would support a first-class education, community and industry outreach, and the making of great wine.

Throughout the design process, FSi “talked to us in real language,” says Daigneault. FSi was “accessible and easy to work with, quick to respond, and available.” Since this is the only winery SSC facilities staff maintain, we spent extra time during and after construction to make sure they knew how to operate and fix specialized systems and equipment. When something in the facility isn’t working, Daigneault says, “we can call our maintenance person and he knows how to fix it, because of FSi.” She thanked the entire design team for giving “extra time and energy you don’t charge for.”

The renovated facility includes classrooms, a teaching winery laboratory, a fully operational winery, a teaching kitchen, and a retail and tasting area. The winery area has barrel fermentation and storage, a case good storage area, and a press yard for grape processing. Our team designed a beautiful facility with state-of-the-art systems on a limited budget. Since its opening, the Academy has produced nearly 1,000 cases of wine annually.

2015 ACEC Design Excellence Silver Award for “Meeting and Exceeding Client Needs.”

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