For homeowners who desire a place to store fine wines, a wine cellar usually does the trick. But the client for this accessory building in Jackson, Wyo., lives in a flood plain, which makes cellars difficult to build. So he came up with the idea of a wine “silo”—a small, cylindrical building for keeping and tasting his vintages. He took the concept to Carney Architects, who had designed his home and studio, so they could finesse and expand on his initial sketches.

The firm opted to place the silo right next to the client's multipurpose studio. “The existing studio was his private domain, with a pool table, wood-shop, gym, and office,” says Carney partner Eric Logan. “It seemed a sympathetic relationship.” A new glass hallway connects the two buildings. The silo's structure consists of three layers: a blackened steel exterior, a middle core of ICFs (insulating concrete forms), and a reclaimed wood interior. Vertical 0 slot windows bring in light without damaging the wines, and a climate control system designed by a mechanical engineer keeps the bottles at the appropriate temperatures and humidity levels. A variable-color system of LEDs illuminates the wine racks.

The custom, reclaimed-fir spiral stair with blackened steel railings winds up through a second-story loft level. And a mechanized hatch opens at the touch of a button to reveal more stairs, this time leading to a rooftop deck. There the client can sample his wines with family and friends, observing the Grand Teton Mountains, the Snake River, and migrating wildlife. “It's hard to make a space that works in a silo,” said one judge admiringly. “This is pure fantasy.”

Project Credits
Carney Architects, Jackson, Wyo.
Builder: Bontecou Construction, Jackson
Project size: 300 square feet
Site: 80 acres
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Paul Warchol

Resources: Lighting fixtures: Erco; Paints: Sherwin-Williams.