Project Profiles

Shelter-Rite Creates Distinctive Look for The Prisoner Wine Company

Shelter-Rite on May 17, 2019 2:14:57 PM

Entrance canopy sets the stage for what visitors are going to see when they enter the building.

The Prisoner Wine Company Front CanopyPROJECT DETAILS

Client: The Prisoner Wine Company (part of Constellation Brands)
Fabric: 8028 FRLTC, Black/Gray Tedlar
Project Site: Renovation of an old building (Franciscan Winery) and the addition of a new canopy at the entrance
Principal Architect:  MH Architects, 2325 3 rd St., Studio 426, San Francisco, CA 94104, Matt Hollis;, 415-977-1094 ext 101
Engineering Firm: Huntington Design Associates Inc., 6768 Thornhill DR., Oakland, CA 94611, Craig G. Huntington, SE, F.ASCE,, 510-339-0110
Fabrication Company: Eide Industries Inc., 16215 Piuma Ave., Cerritos, CA 90703, Erik Jarvie, , 800-422-6827 ext 125

Project Story:

What was once the Franciscan Estate Winery just south of St. Helena, California, is now a renovated and redefined winery concept.

When Constellation Brands purchased The Prisoner Wine Company in 2016, it did so with the intention of expanding The Prisoner brand and marketing. The Prisoner Wine Company has been around since 2000 and is known for its red blends and unique label on its bottles. The label is a copy of Francisco Goya’s etching titled “The Little Prisoner.” It was this image behind the inspiration for both the interior and exterior of the building.

The Prisoner Wine Company Bottle Label

Constellation Brands contracted with MH Architects and Napa-based interior designer Richard Von Saal to develop plans for the renovation.

Early on in the design process, Matt Hollis of MH Architects came up with the idea to add an entrance canopy to the front of the building that would replace the demolished grand Franciscan water fountain. The canopy would add cover from the weather as visitors were dropped off at the entrance of the winery, as well as add striking architectural appeal to the old building. Additionally, the canopy would provide great visual effects with the central mast shooting up in the air, the anchoring chains pulling down the edges of the supporting cables and the fabric itself providing great curves.

“We wanted The Prisoner Wine Company’s first home to be intriguing inside and out, in keeping with the brand,” said Brigid Harris, Property Director of The Prisoner Wine Company. “We also wanted there to be an eye-catching element that could be seen from Highway 29, Napa Valley’s main thoroughfare. The entry canopy achieved both objectives, turning heads along the road while creating an air of mystery as guests approach the impressive main entrance.”

8028 FRLTC, Black/Gray Tedlar Fabric Canopy

The fabric was originally going to be PTFE-coated fiberglass, but the only color option, in the limited quantity needed, would have been white. The use of a white fabric when the color theme was set for black, dark gray and blood red was not ideal. If the canopy were to have just been white, it would not really be a custom structure. This is when Eide Industries, Inc., working with MH Architects, contacted Seaman Corporation to discuss color options for a Shelter-Rite architectural fabric.

“[The owners] didn’t want ‘just another white canopy,’” said Erik Jarvie, Director of Tension Structures, a division of Eide Industries. “The owners were looking to make a statement with their porte-cochére tensile structure.”

The customer, Jarvie added, also requested a 20-year warranty which was what they were getting with PTFE. The fire marshal insisted on a fabric that meets CSFM Title 19.

“At this point, my only hope was with Seaman Corporation,” Jarvie said. “The Shelter-Rite product line is the only fabric that offers a Tedlar coating with a 20-year warranty, in color and complies with fire code and strength requirements. And because it is manufactured locally in the USA, the product fit the schedule too.”

While a vast majority of the architectural fabrics made by Seaman Corporation are white, it does produce materials in a range of standard colors and can offer custom colors matched to virtually any color an architect can request. Seaman Corporation will produce as little as 500 linear yards (1,000 square yards) of a standard or a custom color.

The Prisoner Wine Company Custom Color Match Canopy

For The Prisoner Wine Company project, the architect requested a material that was black on one side and dark gray on the other side. With the help of Seaman Corporation, Shelter-Rite Architectural Fabrics provided 8028 FRLTC Black/Gray in a few weeks and delivered it to Eide Industries in time to meet its fabrication and installation schedule. The color matching was critical to matching the brand, and the architecture was used to personify the brand (i.e., the chains holding down the canopy).

“The customer was thrilled to have color options for their porté-cochere tensile structure, and we were equally excited to manufacturer an iconic landmark in Napa Valley that is very unique and awe-inspiring,” Jarvie said.

Project Schedule

Below is how this project came to fruition. What was originally designed with a white PTFE-coated fiberglass fabric has turned into a distinctive look for The Prisoner Wine Company.

  1. Constellation Brands contracts with MH Architects and Napa-based interior designer Richard Von Saal to design the renovation of the building
  2. MH Architects designs the custom tension structure
  3. MH Architects contracts with Craig Huntington to engineer the tension fabric structure and provide drawings for the bidding process
  4. Constellation Brands, along with its general contractor, put the fabrication and installation of the structure out to bid
  5. Eide Industries, Inc. is awarded the bid
  6. Eide Industries works with MH Architects and Constellation Brands on the selection of the architectural fabric, specifically the colors
  7. Eide Industries places an order with Seaman Corporation
  8. Eide Industries contracts with Huntington to do the final production drawings and to create patterns for their cutting table
  9. Huntington patterns the fabric skin with information from Seaman Corporation on strength and elongation of the material
  10. Eide Industries receives patterns from Huntington and fabric from Seaman Corporation and begins fabricating the structure
  11. Corporation and begins fabricating the structure Eide Industries works with the general contractor to install the tensile structure at the project site in St. Helena, California.

For over 40 years, Shelter-Rite architectural fabrics have been engineered with a proprietary coating formula for superior UV and mildew resistance, and unique weft-inserted knit fabric that provides excellent tensile, tear and seam strength. This time-tested technology has resulted in architectural structures that maintain long-lasting aesthetics.

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