The French Laundry
Reimagining one of the world’s most renowned restaurants was a challenge architect Paul Kelley took on with his characteristic thoughtful professionalism and creativity. The French Laundry kitchen was greatly expanded and updated with technology to allow video conferencing with chef Thomas Keller’s Per Se in Manhattan. The restaurant was modernized with new offices, dry storage, a wine cellar and prep areas, and a large underground geothermal ground-source loop system was installed to cool the restaurant and minimize the environmental impact. Outside, new pergolas, stone walls and a landscaped courtyard were added, creating an environment worthy of the culinary wonders inside. Under Kelley’s daily onsite supervision, the entire expansion and modernization was completed in 2004 within five months, allowing the restaurant to quickly reopen. The project earned a Napa County Landmarks Award of Merit.