Arthouse Architects

Woollaston Estate Wineries

With a dream of developing a gravity fed winery, our client bought an apple orchard in Mahana. Our brief called for a building that blended into the landscape without dominating it and that was itself beautiful and honest to its function and to the materials that had been used to make it.

The landscape was a key design force. We were able to build into the hillside to keep a low profile and then cover the bulk of the structure and wine making facilities with a blanket of native grasses and flaxes.

At the top of these buried spaces the grape receiving area sits low on the crest of the hill under a gable roof supported by marching concrete arches. At the base, a gabion lined courtyard leads under the sheltering blanket into the depths of the hillside and the heart of the winery. The strong form of the barrel vaults accentuated by sound and light provide a monastic quality to the tasting space and wine library.

The sweeping buttresses, vaulted ceilings, rock cage retaining walls and tussock roofs sunk into the hillside create a bespoke building that is already a landmark in the Nelson winegrowing region. Light, shade, cool, mystery…

completed:
2006
contractors:
Kidson Construction Ltd
photographer:
Elspeth Collier
Awards: