2021 - Saint-Émilion, France

Le Dôme Winery

Nestled in the rolling hills of Bordeaux, the new Le Dôme winery in Saint-Émilion aims to blend seamlessly with the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape of the region with a state-of-the-art facility for the young label.

Visitors approach the winery along a tree-lined avenue, at the end of which is a circular-plan building. The form of the building is rooted in a desire to create a structure that simultaneously looks both inwards and outwards, providing an efficient space for wine production, while engaging in dialogue with the surrounding landscape.

A combination of two ramps – one external to emphasise the relationship with the site and the other internal, allowing the visitor to walk through the different stages of the wine process – gives the new building its spatial definition. Both ramps lead up to a gallery on the upper level which forms the social heart of the building, with tasting tables, an elegant wine bar and entertainment spaces – all wrapped by 360-degree views of the adjoining vineyards. A circular atrium allows people to look down onto the wine production and storage spaces below, providing a holistic experience for visitors.

The 40-metre diameter timber roof is a unique reciprocal structure consisting of mutually supporting sloping beams that spans over large column-free space. The structure naturally creates a 6-metre-wide oculus at its centre, which allows daylight to flood the gallery spaces. The roof is clad with recycled local terracotta tiles, while the base of the building – made with concrete using aggregate from the soil removed – is partially buried into the ground to reduce its visual impact on the terrain and increase thermal mass performance. The building to reinforces the landscape by creating a hill-like form that echoes the gentle slopes that surround it.

  • Appointment 2017
  • Completion 2021
  • Area 148.64m²
  • Height 10m
  • Collaborating Architect A3A Architects
  • Structural Engineer Foster + Partners, Simonin