Design stories: Geneseo Inn, Paso Robles, California
Walter Scott Perry
Walter Scott Perry, founder and principal of Ecotech Design, explains how he used shipping containers to create stylish modular accommodation in California’s winegrowing heartlands.
A one-of-a-kind luxury boutique hotel, Geneseo Inn in Paso Robles, California opened its doors in June 2020. This intimate eight-room newbuild, featuring architecture by Ecotech Design and interiors from Eliana Interior Design, comprises a series of shipping containers perched above the rolling vines of Cass Winery.
How did you come to be involved with the project?
As an experienced architect working with shipping-container housing, I was hired by the owner of Cass Winery to design a B&B facility for guests using shipping containers.
What was the design brief from the client?
To incorporate shipping containers as modular B&B units in order to create an iconic, sustainable and cost-effective design that would create a ‘wow’ factor to attract visitors from all over the country and the world.
How did you go about delivering the client’s brief?
Ecotech developed an initial site plan and, based on the owner’s requirements and response, optional layouts of the living units, entries, decks, parking, as well as outside shaded gathering spaces for guests.
What were your main sources of inspiration when designing the project?
The landscape and surrounding wine-country views, the seabreeze direction and the solar orientation. Also, the use of a local, vernacular design aesthetic to help the project blend in with the vernacular, agricultural architecture of the central California wine region.
What are the most innovative aspects of the project?
The use of recycled shipping containers and local materials, as well as the integration of covered parking with modular living spaces in clusters that surround a 50 ft high live oaktree.
Which element of the project’s design are you most proud of?
The raised container concept, with B&B units placed over parking in order to better access valley views and facilitate natural ventilation. Also, the integration of shipping containers and standard, recycled building materials to create a hybrid architecture.
What was the biggest challenge with the project?
The multiple permitting sequence requirements in order to process the project through San Luis Obispo County, with their outsourced plan check procedures, and the state of California.
How long did you work on the project in total?
Four years, approximately.
Has the finished project lived up to expectations?
It exceeded the expectations of the owner, me and Geneseo Inn’s many enthusiastic guests.
How would you sum up what this project has achieved?
It has created a unique lodging experience for visitors and set a new, progressive standard for sustainable guest housing in the wine country of California and elsewhere.
Geneseo Inn (imagery: © 2020 Paul Vu)
For more info, and to view an extensive gallery of hi-res images, check out the Geneseo Inn project page on the TOPHOTELDESIGN website.
Hyatt Regency Cambridge new renovation by Campbell House
The design takes cues from the traditional, scholarly atmosphere of the nearby universities and combines this aesthetic with industrial details and eclectic furniture to create a playful environment for students, business travelers, and families alike. Situated on...
Virgin Hotels previews second UK site
Imagery courtesy of Virgin Hotels. Virgin Hotels has given a sneak peek at its upcoming Glasgow development ahead of its opening in December this year. Virgin Hotels Glasgow is the second site for the brand in the UK and will feature 240 Chambers spanning across 15...
Six Senses to open highly anticipated Swiss resort this December
Imagery © Six Senses. Six Senses Crans-Montana is on track for making its debut, just in time for the 2022-23 winter season, at the end of the year. The year-round slope-side property promises to combine vitality, serenity and adventure in a space featuring luxury...
Design concept: Shiroiya Hotel
Imagery © Katsumasa Tanaka. This week’s TOPHOTELDESIGN exclusive places the focus on industrial-chic Shiroiya Hotel featuring a man-made grassy hill. The 2020-completed hotel in Japan is the result of a collaborative design effort between several architecture and...
Boutique brand rebuilds historic houses for Japanese luxury resort
Imagery courtesy of The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts. The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts is relocating 19th century traditional kominka Japanese houses for a new luxury resort in Hokkaido. The Pavilions Niseko Resort will launch in Q4 2024, and the build includes...
Design showcase: Top 5 corridor designs
This week’s collaboration with TOPHOTELDESIGN highlights the hotel hallways which make moving from one area to the next a fascinating exploration. We have chosen five properties which focus on the journey as well as the destination. These corridors not only lead to...