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NexTerra Wine Co.

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Ship in a bottle

Headquartered in suburban Woodridge, IL, far from any vineyards, NexTerra Wine Co. has grown to be one of the largest U.S. custom wine producers outside of California. Within their expansive 185,000-square-foot office park facility, wines are crafted, stored, and produced using grapes and juice transported from renowned regions such as Napa, Chile, Argentina, France, and Italy.

Initially reliant on six overcrowded temporary mobile trailers for essential functions: breakrooms, bathrooms, offices, and laboratories, the fast-growing company needed a permanent solution within the factory’s footprint. The project integrates new, multifunctional spaces that enhance flexibility, accessibility, and workflow within the facility, akin to placing a “ship in a bottle.”

The main challenge was constructing within the limited space of a food processing facility without disrupting operations or contaminating products. Delays due to COVID-19, budget constraints, and the need to maintain operational continuity were significant hurdles to overcome. The project adopted a phased modular construction approach, building two structures sequentially to ensure uninterrupted factory activity.

Two new white volumes are thoughtfully inserted into the factory to house offices/employee areas and a laboratory with shipping/receiving. Elegant detailing, such as horizontal and vertical reveals, helps organize openings and provides a panelized scale to the volume’s exterior expression.

Inside, spaces embrace views back to the factory activities while maintaining acoustical separation from the noisy bottling lines. A large second-floor volume, highlighted by its abundance of light, features perimeter offices with large glass walls that further connect each space—a stark contrast to the former dark and crowded trailers. Every space is designed to maximize function and flexibility, allowing the facility to adapt as NexTerra Wine Co. continues to expand.

Construction Manager: Oslo Builders, LLC
Structural Engineer: Enspect Engineering Consultants
MEP/FP Engineer: Building Engineering Systems
Photography: Tom Harris Architectural Photography