Del Mar architectural firm wins award for work on Encinitas winery

Del Mar firm Brian Church Architecture will receive an Honor Award in the Commercial Category for Solterra Winery and Kitchen in Encinitas.

The awards were made by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada in their annual architectural design awards program.

The award will be presented at the CMACN Design Awards Banquet at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach on Sept. 18. Awards were also given in Education, Public/Civic and Residential categories.

The CMACN jury explained that they enjoyed the fact that the language of this building is very succinct — any visitor would know that this building is a winery. The strategic blending of wood and masonry is very comfortable, and the clerestory windows provide beautiful, gentle lighting. The building engages the street and promotes an active urban feeling.

Placing wine barrels just behind the windows speaks to the function very effectively. The barrels are actually used in the production of wine; therefore, the building is designed to be durable enough to weather the constant use of forklifts in the building. The use of CMU was a perfect choice for this application. The jury agreed that they all wanted to visit this winery — particularly right after their deliberations!

Solterra Winery was created for owner and vintner Chris Van Alyea. The facility allows Van Alyea to process grapes, mix and age more than 25 varietals, as well as serving the wines in the tasting room along with a complementary menu — all right on the 101 in Leucadia.

Brian Church Architecture’s work includes commercial, mixed-use, restaurant and custom residential projects in coastal North San Diego County. They recently received a San Diego AIA Design award for their four-unit mixed-use project on Phoebe Street in Leucadia, which many refer to as the “new boat houses.”

Brian Church Architecture is at 1650 Camino Del Mar, Building B, Del Mar, CA 92014. Call 858-793-3437; visit