Geneseo Inn the First Green Shipping Container Hotel in Central California Promises to Elevate the Paso Robles Wine Country Excursion
Set on 175 acres amid the rolling hills and grapevines of Cass Winery in Paso Robles, the luxury getaway is the mastermind of L.A.-based Ecotech Design, an early pioneer in the use and integration of shipping containers in architectural projects.
“The owner, Steve Cass, wanted a unique design to attract winery visitors from San Francisco, Los Angeles and throughout the world,” says Ecotech Design Principal Walter Scott Perry.
“The use of shipping containers was an economical and sustainable choice; they are affordable, readily available, and recycled, used locally for wine production and have a unique, contemporary visual impact.”
Walter Scott Perry’s inspiration? The surrounding vineyard. “I didn’t want the inn to dominate, but to sit lightly on and look out over the surrounding countryside, so I elevated the units above the 5-foot high grapevine rows and placed the parking underneath,” he explains.
“The structures shade the parking and allow the container clusters to visually ‘float’ over the landscape.” In addition, the 8-foot-wide shipping containers mimic the spacing of the grapevine rows planted 8 feet apart.
“Offsetting all of the building components 4 feet horizontally and vertically, and in three separate clusters with different orientations, creates a constant play of light and shadow on the buildings during the day,” he adds.
“The structures become truly integrated with their environment, as the containers and the vineyard itself have been recycled and reused over time—an ‘adaptive-reuse’ design strategy used during the 1960s and throughout an evolving, environmental movement for over 60 years.”
Featured at the Geneseo Inn are seven bed and breakfast units composed of two 20-foot containers and one 12-foot high clerestory element, each with raised decks at the entry and rear, along with a deluxe bridal unit suite consisting of 40-foot and 20-foot containers. Prices start at $325 per night for the accommodations, which boast a mix of recycled and locally sourced sustainable materials and finishes, including Corten and naturally distressed structural steel, glass, cement board, and recycled winery barn materials and agricultural buildings.
An office cluster uses four 20-foot containers with a large, communal deck and reception areas under a live oak tree, while the exterior color palettes complement the various wine labels used at Cass Winery. And rounding out the property’s offerings: a gourmet breakfast served daily, complete with fresh-baked artisan pastries and a chef-inspired signature item, not to mention vineyard tours, wine seminars, cooking classes and more.
“The new vibe was meant to expand the business to include a more urbane, sophisticated clientele—one aware of contemporary and environmental design issues—as well as to create a unique ‘experience’ for those who stay in the shipping container units,” says Walter Scott Perry.
“Hopefully, it will inspire surrounding vineyard owners to rethink the traditional experience, and to create a more stimulating and attractive destination for visitors.”
Geneseo Inn at Cass Winery
7350 Linne Road, Paso Robles, CA
805.239.1730 | casswines.com
Photographs: Paul Vu Photography