Credit: Josef Kasperovich | CAED Courtesy

Cal Poly students are working to design a temporary structure in Edna Valley to demonstrate the wine regions of San Luis Obispo County. 

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) teamed up with Saucelito Canyon and the Wine History Project to build the educational pavilion.

Organizers hope to have the final project design completed in early December, but construction will not take place until Spring 2020 with a new set of students in the interdisciplinary class.

The pavilion is expected to be adaptable and transportable so it can relocate throughout wineries in San Luis Obispo County, according to Heather Muran,  the historian for the Wine History Project.

The pavilion will encompass different aspects of the organization to highlight its work and research on the history of wine in San Luis Obispo County, revealing artifacts and information about the land, wineries, grape varieties, growers and winemakers dating back to the mid-1700s, Muran said. 

The completed pavilion will be temporarily placed at the Saucelito Canyon tasting room, but is envisioned to relocate throughout the county.

Depending on the final size of the structure, it will be set up at vineyards, exhibit halls, parks, festivals and other public spaces. 

The Wine History Project, Muran said, would like for the pavilion to tell a guided story to allow people to engage and learn about the research they do and the history behind the grapevines across San Luis Obispo County.

“Saucelito Canyon is all about heritage. They have some of the oldest vines in California,” Muran said. 

Muran said they would like the structure of the pavilion to stay current but keep its originality and authenticity with the 100-year-old vines they planted and established. 

There is not one particular look of the project because it is up to the teams to design, construction management senior Gannon Van Sickle said. 

There are many parts and pieces to consider with the design.

“The  main thing the clients wanted was for people to be drawn to the pavilion, learn something from its history, and have some sort of experience through the pavilion, and to have a new appreciation for the history of wine in this area,” Van said. 

With growing tourism, Muran said she would like the structure to attract people who are not local to San Luis Obispo.

Professors from construction management, architecture and architectural engineering came up with the concept for their students to design and build the pavilion for their creative integrated design course.

Construction management associate professor Gregory Starzyk said it took only 24 hours after the idea was formulated to get it lined up with the Wine History Project. 

Winemakers were “lined up ready to display their artifacts and collections,” Starzyk said, and everyone liked the idea because it was a smaller scale project with real customers and real solutions.

 “There’s really nothing like that in our county,” Muran said.

Cal Poly students have designed and built structures in other areas but they have not seen a lot locally, she said. 

The course Starzyk teaches with two other professors from CAED focuses on the design of the pavilion. The professors provide commentary and criticism, but everything is ultimately up to the 32 students involved. 

“The design comes from the mind of the students,” Starzyk said.  “Not from [the faculty].”

The students work with their professors and speak with the clients to assure they design the correct structures. Cal Poly received a $10,000 grant through LPA, a fully integrated firm of architects, engineers, interior designers and landscape architects with offices nationwide. 

The firm plans to work with the students, as well as help to fund the project’s first phase which includes turning the design proposals into 3-D models. Bryan Seamer, the company’s director of structural engineering, will lead the design proposal phase. 

The design process was split up into teams at the beginning of Fall 2019, consisting of architects, architectural engineers and construction management students. 

“The ARCE and CM students work with the architects in an integrative process. All three majors get to have input in all parts of the process even if it is [not] in their specialty,” construction management Gannon Van Sickle said. 

The clients for the project get to choose which design they want to go with once each team presents their ideas at the end of the  quarter.

The presentation will include design, constructability, cost and other logistical aspects of the project, Van Sickle said.

Once the teams present their ideas and the clients decide on their favorite design, different students will work on the actual construction of the models in Spring 2020.

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