Utility buildings, those bit players on the architectural scene, are seldom the occasion for innovative work. This simple but elegant work building, on the grounds of a private vineyard, is a refreshing exception. Comprising two bays separated by an open dog-trot, the building houses two functions—vehicle storage and wine production. To provide natural light for both without the use of conventional windows, architect John Vetter developed a wall section that employs an extruded polycarbonate sheet over open cedar 2x4 framing. Cedar 6x6 columns at corners and at the half-bay points provide lateral rigidity, compensating for the lack of structural sheathing. Spaced, horizontal cedar 1x6s overlay the polycarbonate material, filtering the daylight and giving the building an intriguing combination of openness and shelter. Our judges noted the simplicity and apparent effectiveness of the flashing details and agreed that the design as a whole delivers both functionality and pleasing aesthetics with a remarkable economy of means.
Entrant/Architect: Vetter Denk Architects, Milwaukee
Builder: Duval Construction, Whitewater, Wis.
Project size: 840 square feet
Site: 40 acres
Construction cost: $68 a square foot
Photographer: Chad Griswold
Illustration: Mark Bremmer
Resources: Garage doors: Raynor; Kitchen plumbing fittings: Eagle Foodservice Equipment; Kitchen plumbing fixtures: T&S; Lighting fixtures: Stonco; Roofing: Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.; Windows: Polygal.