The new home for Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute includes the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a state-of-the-art facility with classrooms and outdoor space that have capacity for more than 300 students, venues for public seminars and events, and technology to showcase the business of wine and hospitality.
The renovation process by Truebeck Construction converted a 1960s-era university commons building into a modern educational facility with three focal areas: an education core; a student commons with areas for collaboration and student-run businesses, and an industry center with space for professional and academic faculty and program leadership.
Advanced technology classrooms were designed specifically to support wine business education.
A Business of Hospitality Classroom allows students to learn hands-on the skills of tasting, serving and marketing wine. The Entrepreneurship Classrooms allows students to connect real-time via distance learning with Wine faculty and businesses throughout the world. The large Commons Classroom functions as a lecture space, and for hosting of large events. Flexible furniture systems allow all the classrooms to be used for multiple applications.
Warm natural materials compliment and contrast with the existing concrete structure. There is a variety of meeting spaces; both formal and informal that fosters a very transparent and collaborative learning environment. The mechanical and electrical systems were completely upgraded, providing a healthy, energy-efficient environment.
The design created by TLCD Architecture utilizes modern learning and working practices to inspire collaboration for students and visitors comprised of a student hub and gardens, a wine entrepreneurship laboratory, an outdoor study terrace and a wine business research library.
The 19,000 square foot project, designed to LEED Silver standards, began on June 1, 2016 and was completed at the end of November 2017. It will open to the public in the spring.
The building also received seismic strengthening, and has a new café with outdoor seating under a steel-and-terra-cotta trellis, as well as an expanded lobby. There is an interactive media wall, a gallery and Donor Wall, new offices and a shared work area for faculty, as well as a new boardroom and unique landscaping featuring a demonstration vineyard.
SSU Wine Spectator Learning Center
Owner/developer: Sonoma State University
Contractor: Truebeck Construction
Architect: TLCD Architecture
Cost: $10 million ($7.6 million for construction)