Wine Business Institute Picks Local Architect, Builder for Wine Spectator Learning Center

TLCD Architects and BNBT Builders Partner on Innovative Industry-Education Complex at Sonoma State University
January 26, 2016

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that TLCD Architecture based in Santa Rosa and BNBT Builders of San Francisco were chosen to partner on design and construction of the future Wine Spectator Learning Center (WSLC), an education and industry hub designed around advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. Crews expect to break ground on the $9.15 million project on June 1, 2016, with completion and grand opening set for Summer 2017.

TLCD Architecture specializes in civic, commercial, healthcare, hospitality and education sectors, with clients including the City of Santa Rosa, American Ag Credit, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Napa Valley College, among others. BNBT Builders specializes in all phases of construction with projects spanning the life sciences, healthcare, education, commercial office and mission critical sectors. Their client list includes the University of California at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco; Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Stanford School of Medicine; and companies including Dignity Health, Vantage, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and GitHub, among others.

"As the educational nucleus of a thriving regional economy, it was important to us to engage local professionals on this project. We decided after a lengthy review of top quality firms that TLCD and BNBT have the right combination of skill and experience. Over the coming months, a cutting-edge facility will take shape on campus, designed and built to provide the University community a teaching and learning environment that meets its demands and exceeds expectations as one of California's leading institutions of higher education," Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.



"The planning process so far has been comprehensive and well-coordinated, and bodes well for our ambitious timeline and our vision as the global leader in wine business research and education. On behalf of SSU and the Wine Business Institute, we're excited to work with TLCD and BNBT, and look forward to sharing updates as the project continues," Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The WSLC will be located on the site of the current SSU Student Commons building on campus. The project involves interior and exterior renovation of the building to meet advanced learning and education requirements, and to support the executive, professional, and degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, including all activities, events, and research projects.wbi_logo_stacked_outline.jpg

Exterior features of the building will include extensive international-themed gardens on the north side, adjacent to the campus lakes. The south side will showcase a second garden with grape vines and the "Student Success Pathway," including flagstones with student names linked to a scholarship dedicated to first generation college students and children of vineyard and winery workers. The classrooms, student commons, faculty-industry hub, and overall interior of the building will be equipped with advanced technology features, such as multi-point video conferencing for technology-enabled learning, video production with broadcast capabilities, and multi-media exhibit and research stations.

"It is a real privilege for the opportunity to be involved in such an innovative project.  Sonoma State University and the Wine Business Institute have taken a very sustainable approach by revitalizing one of the original campus buildings. We believe the transformation will be truly stunning, and provide a perfect home for this forward-thinking regional and international program," Brian Wright, Principal at TLCD Architecture said. 

"Our team is excited to be back on campus and partnering with Sonoma State University again. This project will reshape how generations of students learn about the wine business. BNBT is enormously proud to support SSU's vision and be part of their commitment to excellence in higher education," David Becker, Principal of BNBT Builders said.

Project contributors to date include the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation; Alpha Omega Winery and Tolosa Vineyards & Winery; American AgCredit; Bouchaine Vineyards; Charmer-Sunbelt; Korbel Champagne Cellars; Wally Lowry, Professor Emeritus of Business at SSU; Peter Michael Winery; Pierce Education Properties; The Rubin Family of Wines; and Young's Market Company.

For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State University, or for information about Wine Business Institute programs and degrees, please visit, contact (707) 664-3235, or email The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). WBI programs are administered in partnership between SBE and the School of Extended and International Education.