White Rock, originally built in the 1870s, is located on a sloping site surrounded by vineyards and is composed of stone walls forming a two-story structure with a daylighting cellar. The stone walls are made of local quarry materials and bonded with lime and cementitious materials. The floor and pitched roof are constructed with traditional wood framing. In 1920, a similarly configured two-story addition was added. A single-story portion was then built to connect the two wings. A large stone chimney forms a centerpiece for the Great Room in the upper single-story portion.
In October 2017, the Atlas wildfire moved through the adjacent vineyards and climbed up a single Cyprus tree that stood feet away from the wood-framed roof. Once the eave caught fire, it quickly moved to the interior wood-framed structure. When the smoke cleared, only the stone exterior walls and fireplace were left standing. Within the cellars of each building, thousands of bottles of wine melted, cataloging a huge financial loss for the owners.
While the building is not registered as historic at the state or federal level, it is registered as historic in Napa County. There is, without question, an immense historic value in the main house, given the age and activities that have occurred within the building over the last 150 years.
The intent of this project was to restore the structure to its previous beauty while introducing new technology and building methods to protect against future catastrophes. Through the utilization of cross-laminated timber (CLT), the design team provided the diaphragm strength required to tie the 20-inch-thick stone walls together and provide an architecturally finished ceiling. The CLT floor panels also allowed for maximum head height within the cellars, optimizing the existing space and giving the owners a home similar to the one they always adored.