50 Shades of Wine. The sexy side of architecture.

Wineries and wine-inspired architecture, the ultimate destinations for design lovers

by Claudia Sigismondi
10 Love 7347 Visits

La Cité du Vin, an adult theme park entirely devoted to wine, has recently opened its doors in Bordeaux. The building has a smooth, free-flowing shape that instantly makes a statement. Its wavy architecture evokes wine's soul and liquid nature, being designed to represent the wine swirling in a glass.

This project is the latest in a long list of spectacular buildings related to the world of wine. From grape to glass, wine has to do with planning and creativity and in the last 10 years, the wine industry has enlisted star-architects, from Frank Gehry to Zaha Hadid, in the creation of new wineries, wine museums, wine hotels and spas.

Wineries and their facilities have become the ultimate destinations for luxury travelers, unique places where art, nature and architecture combine. Beautifully crafted in every detail, these spaces are conceived to offer the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the pleasure of tasting.

With the wines bearing the characteristics of their place of production, wineries are strictly related to the natural environment. Rounded forms allow the buildings to become one with nature: curved lines blend in with the rolling hills of the vineyards, voluptuous shapes recall the sensual curves of the human body and connect to the natural elements: leaves, branches, bunches of grapes, clouds...

Roundness in architecture is visually striking and naturally perceived as beautiful.
Curvy shapes speak to our senses and the reason appears to be hard-wired into the human brain.

Recent neuroscience studies* suggest that the perception of rounded forms stimulates areas of the brain linked with reward and emotions, whereas the straight lines are associated with parts of the brain that process fear and threat.

The concept of roundness links to the idea of pleasure, and so does wine. It is no coincidence, then, that many of these amazing wineries have sinuous shapes.

As Plusdesign, we are very glad we had the chance to develop this subject as designers, having recently taken part to the architectural competition “Maison des Vins de la Côte”, in the heart of the wine region of Lavaux, with our project OU'VA.



*Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture, by Oshin Vartanian, University of Toronto, 2013

Projects featured
La Cité du Vin , Bordeaux, by XTU architects
Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, by Frank Gehry
Cantina Antinori, San Casciano Val di Pesa, by Archea Associati
Chateau Cheval Blanc Winery, Saint-Émilion, by Christian de Portzamparc
Ysios Bodegas, La Rioja Alavesa, by Santiago Calatrava
Projet OU'VA, Concours Maison des Vins de La Côte, Mont-sur-Rolle, by Plusdesign

Photo credits
"Cité du Vin Bordeaux"©XTU architects/P.Desmazières http://bit.ly/1RUTi5w from Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
“Hotel Marques de Riscal" by Nicola http://bit.ly/1Ya583i from Wikipedia.org is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
"Antinori" by Tom Godber http://bit.ly/1Us5EDI is licensed under CC BY 2.0 "Staircase" by Tom Godber http://bit.ly/1Us4VCI is licensed under CC BY 2.0
"Grid" by Tom Godber http://bit.ly/1Zq1C33 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
"Chateau Cheval Blanc" © Gerard Uferas http://bit.ly/24s0U6L is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Concours Maison des Vins de La Côte" Projet OU'VA©Plusdesign http://bit.ly/1UlsltB


La Cité du Vin 41

La Cité du Vin

Bordeaux / France / 2016

Hotel Marqués de Riscal 38

Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Elciego / Spain / 2006

Cantina Antinori 211

Cantina Antinori

Bargino San Casciano in Val di pesa / Italy / 2012

Chateau Cheval Blanc Winery 236

Chateau Cheval Blanc Winery

Saint-Emilion / France / 2011