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Jeremy Bitterman

On rare occasions a great architect finds a building project that touches him personally. More than a commission, it’s a love match in wood, steel and glass. So noted architect Brad Cloepfil, founder of Allied Works Architecture, isn’t kidding when he gushes that the recently opened tasting room at Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, Oregon, is a “dream project.”

Cloepfil, who has designed huge art museums and corporate headquarters all over the world, is an Oregon native and a wine lover who keeps one office in Portland and one in New York. “I’ve wanted to do a winery ever since I started Allied Works,” he says.

Sokol Blosser was a fortuitous client. Founded in 1971, it is one of the Willamette Valley’s pioneering estates, its range of wines garnering an excellent track record. The new, 5,000-square-foot tasting room is an ideal place to enjoy those offerings, catching the eye with its striated wooden cladding, a visually arresting pattern in cedar, fir and hickory.

“The building is a simple form but an involved series of spaces inside,” Cloepfil says. “There are a lot of faceted surfaces, taking that Northwest carved aesthetic to the extreme. The floors, walls and ceiling are all the same materials, but as you go through it, the space shifts and moves.”

Cloepfil, who rose to fame for his adaptive reuse design for the Portland headquarters of advertising giant Wieden & Kennedy, has put green concerns at the forefront of his design for Sokol Blosser. The winery aims to be certified by 2014 in the Living Building Challenge, an unusually high environmental standard.

In terms of architectural ambition in his home region, Cloepfil says that he hopes his work is the start of something big: “It’s a pivot point for Oregon wineries.” At 5000 Sokol Blosser Ln.; 503-864-2282; sokolblosser.com.

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