Posts About The Bardessono

May 19, 2009

Look for Napa Valley's Newest Hotel
In Time's Green Design 100

Bardessono Napa Valley, Calif.
It may be small — just 62 rooms — but from the vertical garden in the entry to 82 geothermal fields for heating and cooling to 100,000 sq. ft. of reclaimed wood, this hotel packs a lot of green for the punch.

Link: Bardessono,Time's Green Design 100

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Pictured (left) with older brother Pete, Steve has been walking Yountville since boyhood.

January 14, 2009

Discovering the Wine Country's Walking Village

By Brooke Cheshier

"Yountville is a walking village.”

Revolutionary words? Maybe not in the sense that they are going to start an uprising. But in the sense that they transformed the way I view the tiny Napa Valley town – excuse me, village – that I have come to know and love in this past year?


Yountville has always commanded media attention for Thomas Keller and his Michelin-starred restaurants as well as for the pretty strip of shops lining Washington Street. I’ve lived here a year, and I still read about Ad Hoc’s fried chicken night at least once a week. And out-of-towners continue to go into Bouchon specifically for the saffron mussels and French fries (because even though they haven’t been on the menu for over six months, the scented bivalves are so beloved by guests the kitchen keeps the ingredients on hand…just in case).

Locals know these things, but they also know a different Yountville. They know the shaded walking path behind Vintage Inn, and the shortcut through V Marketplace to get to it. They know how delicious it is to stop at NapaStyle for picnic materials – a bottle of vino, some sandwiches and cheeses – and then follow the trail to the tiny park at the north end of town. 

Locals know all about the series of interconnected – though slightly fractured – walking paths that make this town beautifully, windingly pedestrian friendly. But, I personally had never read nor heard about them until last week.

Which is why, today, I recruited Pat Bardessono, the author of the aforementioned quote and the woman responsible for my thought metamorphosis, along with her husband Steve to take me on a walking tour of their charming burg.

 “You know that this town is just a small village surrounded by an agricultural preserve,” Steve tells me; it’s a sunny, cloud speckled winter day. I look left and see the majestic Mayacamas in the distance. I look right and see the lolling eastern hills of Stags’ Leap. And nearly all of it – north, south, east and west – is blanketed in vineyards.

We are standing on Yount Street in front of the original Bardessono property, which was purchased by Steve’s ancestors in 1926 and is now the home of the soon-to-open Bardessono resort and spa. This property also happens to be, according to Steve, Yountville’s geographic center. It is a lovely starting point for our adventure.
To begin, we head east, away from the commercial heart and toward residential Yountville; a few steps in the other direction would put us in the Hurley’s parking lot. As we walk, Steve tells me about eco-developer Phil Sherburne’s passionate environmental vision for the Bardessono and points out the future site of a small park at the corner of the historic six-acre property.

Continue reading "Discovering the Wine Country's Walking Village"

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August 12, 2008

Yountville "Facebook" Installed This Week

Pacific Northwest urban planner- turned- sustainable developer, Phil Sherburne, collaborated with San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion this month to rally people who live or work in the small Napa Valley town of Yountville for a community portrait.  Monday night the two men hosted a block party to celebrate the installation of the portrait, a composite of hundreds of large-format individual and group images that stretches along a sidewalk in the town center.

(Left to right) Alexander Treu of the Di Rosa Preserve and Ashley Teplin, Studio 707, work with photographer Christopher Irion to mount the 215 images he took in his PhotoBooth for Yountville’s Community Portrait.

“I’ve been thinking about Facebook and what it means to the people who participate,” said Sherburne. “I’ve decided this is the facebook of Yountville,” he said, gesturing toward the images of locals.  Both Sherburne and Irion said they consider the wall to be a celebration of community here and everywhere.   “It’s not about the art,” said Irion.  “It’s about all of you.  Thank-you for taking the risk to participate.”

Phil Sherburne introduces townspeople to Arborica’s Evan Shively who not only sourced and milled reclaimed lumber for the Bardessono inn and spa, but arrived with his wife, Madeline and Chef Annie Gingrass and his portable, wood-fired oven to create artisan pizzas for the block party.

Irion has now traveled across the United States carrying his portable, handmade PhotoBooth in a Volkswagen Eurovan documenting communities from coast to coast.  Sherburne, who underwrote the project, founded an even smaller community than Yountville on Decatur Island in the San Juans 25 years ago.  Next winter, he will open a new inn in the Town of Yountville he hopes will achieve Platinum LEED Certification.

Yountville’s block party drew several hundred locals who enjoyed pizzas created by Madeleine and Evan Shively and Ann Gingrass in Evan’s portable wood-fired pizza oven.  Shively is the owner of Aborica

The Community Portrait wall will be up until Yountville’s November Festival of Lights installation.

Click here for images of the PhotoBooth installation party from Monday, August 11.
Photos by Ashley Teplin

Click here for images of the PhotoBooth installation.
Photos by Ashley Teplin and Pamela Hunter

Click here for the PhotoBooth picture taking day in Yountville on July 10 and 12.
Photos by Ashley Teplin and Christopher Irion

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Yountville resident and teacher, Chuck with son James and Bouchon Bakers Annarose and Maika were photographed by Christopher Irion for the Yountville Community Portrait.

August 8, 2008

Yountville Portrait Project Unveiled
At Monday, August 11 Block Party

AUGUST 7, 2008—YOUNTVILLE, NAPA VALLEY, CA.—On Monday a 72’ long, 10’ high wall constructed by the Bardessono, an environmentally sustainable inn and spa slated for completion this winter, becomes home to a portrait of this community of 2,900. Former urban planner and committed community builder Phillip Sherburne of Decatur Island and Seattle, WA., underwrote the project after he was introduced to San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion and his work documenting communities all across America. 

Sherburne’s vision intersected with Irion’s and in just a few weeks after meeting, the two men laid plans to bring the townspeople together to experience themselves as a community in the same way others have over five years and 20,000 miles of Irion’s travels with a handmade PhotoBooth packed in his Volkswagen Eurovan.

Long a photographer of celebrities and prominent figures whose work is seen in books and high-profile publications as well as museums and gallery shows, Irion determined it was community that most interested him.  He began five years ago with a project in his neighborhood where he created 500 portraits of the people who frequented Farley’s Café.  The photographs were taken over several months with each individual entering the PhotoBooth and Irion positioned outside, his camera lens poking through the booth wall. 

Continue reading "Yountville Portrait Project Unveiled
At Monday, August 11 Block Party"

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July 2, 2008

Photobooth comes to Yountville

San Francisco photographer Christopher Irion brings his PhotoBooth Project to the Yountville Community Hall Thursday, July 10 from noon-7 p.m. and Saturday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People who live or work in Yountville are encouraged to visit the booth on one of those days.  Irion invites townspeople to “bring your sweetheart, your kids, your dogs” and sit for a portrait. As a way of recognizing the collaboration with each participant, everyone is sent a complimentary 5” x 7” print.  In addition, all the portraits will be included in a mural to be installed later this summer in front of the Bardessono Inn on Yount Street adjacent to the community hall.  The installation will be on view until November.

The PhotoBooth is a lightweight, portable studio that can be shipped anywhere in the world.  During the past three years, Irion has traveled over 8,000 miles and made over 2,000 portraits in communities across America.  The booth is set up at cafes, in parking lots, at county fairs and on sidewalks.

Irion then creates installations of the resulting portraits taken of a particular community or group.  A requirement of the project is that the installation occur in a place that is frequented by the community in its daily activities, with pedestrian access rather than in a place apart such as a gallery or community space.  Irion considers the projects to be about community and only secondarily about art.

Irion is motivated by the concept of community.  “I am interested in strengthening the ties of a community, by showing the group back to itself in a direct and democratic fashion with the idea that viewers can directly gaze on the faces of fellow citizens and have a moment to reflect on their relationship to one another.  The installation functions as a place to meet one’s neighbors as a town green might once have allowed, so as to share with others the gaze of the community,” he explains.

The Yountville PhotoBooth project and Picture Wall installation have been underwritten by the Bardessono Inn and Spa scheduled to open in February 2009.

Click here to view photos of the Bardessono Inn and Spa construction site on Flickr.

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