The Carneros Inn

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Location: Napa, CA. Scenic greenfield space in northern California's wine country

Located between the Sonoma Valley and Napa wine regions, in the heart of the Carneros region, this new 27-acre inn and town center is designed to engage with the broader community while serving as "base camp" for visitors exploring the surrounding areas. The complex contains four neighborhoods or precints:

I. Town Center

The Town Center engages both the inn guests and the broader community. A civic square organizes a Post Office, a public market and a public restaurant while the Town Center also includes meeting and conference space for the inn.

II. Guest Cottages

The basic building block of the Inn is the guest cottage, which with the front porches, represents the spirit of community integral to the resort's identity. Each guest cottage features a private garden and a front porch facing a public space that is designed to foster interaction among guests.

IIl. Courtyard Houses

Integral to the community are 24 for-sale courtyard houses. Each home is designed to relegate the car to background status in favor of a more pedestrian-oriented streetscape. Each is organized around a central courtyard and features a roof top terrace overlooking the vineyards.

IV. Hilltop

Located at the highest point commanding dramatic views over the surrounding vineyards. The Hilltop includes restaurant, reception building, and spa complex.


Central to the concept of the "Agrarian Village" is the notion of generating a strong sense of community. This manifests itself through the Town Center and the design of the overall framework of landscaped public spaces and extends to the design of the guest cottage and the basic building block of the Inn.


The Inn captures views of the surrounding vineyard through its siting; a network of landscaped spaces lead visitors from the guest cottages to the reception, space and Inn restaurant complex on the top of the hill. The simple and informal character of the vernacular architecture of the region is reinterpreted in a way that captures the essence of the local character and recognizes the powerful way buildings relate to this landscape.

Connections to Landscape

The network of the public spaces and the layout of the neighborhoods is designed to maximize one's awareness of the beauty of the surrounding landscape, from the rooftop terraces of the courtyard houses, to the location of the Reception and Spa at the top of the hill.


The site was designed to make a positive impact on the local community and the environment. 100% of the project is geothermally heated and all of the stormwater is processed and reused for on-site irrigation. The stormwater is also stored for use by the neighboring vineyards, integrating the community directly into the existing agricultural conditions.


To comply with constraints of protective Napa zoning, the Inn repackages existing uses into a more pedestrian-friendly site plan.

Read more at this project's website.

Transect Zone(s): T2 reserve.
Status: 76-99% Built
Project or Plan's Scale: Neighborhood
Features: Civic buildings & parks, Mixed uses.
Land area (in acres): 27
Total built area (in sq. ft.):
Total project cost (in local currency):
Retail area (in sq. ft.):
Office area (in sq. ft.): 12000
Number of hotel units: 85
Number of residential units (include live/work): 24
Civic uses (type and size): Post Office, town square, outdoor meeting space, pool/inn
Parks & green space (in acres): 190
Project team designers: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
Project team developers: Andrews & Thornley Construction, Jeff Luchetti Construction, Charles M. Salter & Assoc., Balance Hydrologics

Previous site status: Redevelopment

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: -