Herzog & De Meuron is a world-renowned Swiss architecture firm founded in 1978. Known for their works such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium in China and Tate Modern art gallery, their style of architecture can be described as modern minimalist. The firm made their first debut in the United States by designing the Dominus Winery situated in Napa Valley. Clients commissioned Herzog & De Meuron to design the winery because of the fact that architecture firm had knew and respected the traditions of wine making. Herzog & De Meuron is also known to pay attention to surface material and design throughout much of their works around the world.
The concept of the winery is to integrate the surrounding landscape with the natural ecological materials of the façade of the building. This was done by gathering local basalt rock from nearby canyons, and binding them with steel wires to create a gabion exterior. The lack of mortar used in this project is one of the key features of the winery for that it allows natural light to breach through the building as well as providing transparency between what is inside and outside. The basalt rocks also play a role in insulating the building from the hot, arid weather during the daytime and allow heat to dissipate during the night time, which is practical and crucial to brewing and storing wine. These elements along with the simplicity of the building’s shape make the Dominus Winery exemplary of a building blending to its landscape.