Originally a Dr. Pepper bottling plant in the 1970s and later a recycling center, the design of Charles Smith Wines Jet City preserves as much of its hard-won industrial patina as possible, while opening up the building to the surrounding Seattle neighborhood, the runways of Boeing Field, and dramatic views of Mt. Rainier. On top of the building, seven-foot-tall letter wraps the building in billboard fashion, declaring “Charles Smith Wines Jet City.”
The former 32,000 square-foot building is composed of two structures, a two-floor office building and a contiguous open-structure steel truss warehouse. Together, they provide space for everything from grape crush to barrel storage and bottling, to tasting rooms and sales. The building’s street-side façade boasts an impressive 19x60-foot span of windows, opening the building up to the neighborhood and views.
Once through the twenty-foot-tall steel entry door, visitors have the choice of two tasting rooms. The rustic, entry-level lounge features polished concrete floors, exposed wood joists, pivoting black steel wall panels, wood cocktail tables made from laminated salvaged 6 x 6’s, and a bar made of stacked, salvaged wood.
A plate-steel staircase was inserted into the office structure to connect the first-floor lounge to the expansive second-floor tasting room. With its original wood floor planks, white tuck-and-roll upholstered perimeter seating, and powder-blue, Lexan-topped bar on wheels at center stage, the winery’s second story effectively captures an early 1960s aviation vibe.
In addition to views of Boeing Field and Mt. Rainier, a second set of interior windows allows guests to look back into warehouse and watch the winemaking process.
Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award
Architizer A+ Awards, Winner, Hospitality: Bars & Nightclubs
“Awards Category Typology / Type Hospitality: Bars & Nightclubs / Winner Jury: Charles Smith Wines Jet City Seattle, WA, USA.” Architizer: A+ Awards 2016, 2016, 76. Book.
Berkowicz, Sylvie, and Sophy Caulier. “Seattle – La renaissance par la technologie.” The Good Life No. 22, March-April 2016, 120. Print.
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