Like the grapes that grow on the land, the Nouveau Chai building stands over a square mile. 12 tree-like colons sprout from ground and bloom into a triangle roof. This is the visible new building in 200 years on the expansive estate.
The Nouveau Chaiex tends from the east wing of the historic Combes structure. This original structure is highly flexible, a double-height space offers open-air gathering and skylights cutting through the eastern side of the roof allow morning daylight. To maximize efficiency, the open enclosure is shaped by the different wine making processes, the new research and development center and the visitor walkways. The south-face is surrounded by large windows to create a light-filled winter garden, providing a pliable space for outdoor events.
“This design has been inspired by the character of the existing estate, and what Bernard Rudofsky called ‘architecture without architects’-the vernacular architecture that embraces everything from windmills to bridges, and the wonderful heritage of the ‘big barn,'” founding Principal Norman Foster said in a release. “I was inspired by a communal lunch in the open space under the great roof of one of the structures during the grape harvesting. By investigating ruins elsewhere on the site, it was possible to recycle enough tiles to create another major roof in the same vernacular. The new winery is rooted in the technology of today and the best of these traditions-it is of the place in both the culture of the local architecture and the industry of wine making”.
Client: SCA Château Margaux
Project Year: 2015
Foster + Partners Design Team: Norman Foster, TabaRasti, NarinderSagoo, Pablo Urango, Manuel Fernandez, Jaime Valle, Stefan Popa, Ana Fernandez, Daniel Martinez, Begoña de Abajo, Rosella Stina
Foster + Partners engineering team: Roger Ridsdill Smith, Andrea Solignon, John Larkey, Arthur Lapeyrere, Chris Trott, DorotheeWoollard, Laura Smith, James Wroot, Wolfgang Muller, Umesh Patel
Collaborating architect: A3A Cabinet d’Architecture, Guy Tropres, CarolinTropres, Anne Sophie Tropres
Structural Engineer: Ingerop
Mechanical eEngineer: Secath
Wine Making Engineer: Ingerop
Lighting Engineer: KEE
Lighting Consultant: Claude Engle Lighting Consultants