Winzerhof Dockner wine center by Explicit Architecture, Höbenbach – Austria

July 3rd, 2012 by retail design blog

Set in the idyllic Krems valley landscape, the contemporary architecture of the Dockner Winery store and tasting center makes a very impressive statement. Nestled perfectly into the immediate surrounding topography, the wine center’s contemporary design is an interpretation of the various geometries typical to the surrounding village. The building draws its overall shape from the contours of the land, meshing dynamically into the spatial context of Lower Austria’s highly traditional landscape.

The direct view of the nearby Stift Göttweig monastery was a key determinant of the spatial alignment of the wine shop and tasting center. The glass fiber reinforced concrete panels of the façade are reminiscent of loess soil. Exposed concrete interior walls draw upon the various levels of the winery operation’s terrain, manifesting a strong sense of place.

The shape of the building embodies the vintner’s visionary approach. The focus of attention here is wine making, with an emphasis on presentation and marketing. Also important is the versatility of the building, which functions as a showroom, wine sales center, tasting room, and event venue.

The spatial order of the two-story building into three functional areas is clear and efficient. The areas for wine tasting, sales, and presentation are located on the ground floor. The central wine bar is immediately noticed upon entering, and is flanked by display cases filled with the latest winery specials.

Opposite the bar, seating areas following the line of the building create the wine tasting area. An etched glass room divider separates the integrated office from the tasting area, yet still allows for transparency from all vantage points. Two floor-to-ceiling windows enhance the welcoming atmosphere of the tasting room.

The rear showroom and storage area has been stylistically minimalized, devoted entirely to the presentation of the wine. The bottles of wine stored directly in the showroom give it the charismatic atmosphere of a wine cellar. A generously proportioned show window on the back wall provides a view of the new distillery in the old section of the winery. The same rear wall leads to a passage into the “underworld”, the great wine cellar labyrinth of the Dockner family.

The upstairs rooms are available for different events – seminars, presentations, lectures, and various festivities. A floor-to-ceiling glass structure with an integrated sliding door offers a beautiful panorama of the Benedictine monastery and the surrounding wine country. A garden is accessible from the multi-purpose room and can be used seasonally as an extension of the interior.

The high standards that characterize the Dockner family’s wine production are also evident in the interior of the building, whose entire design was carefully selected and custom-made for the building. The color coordination between the interior and the exterior of the building restates the nature of the winery: birch veneer in Bordeaux red, hand-planed bog oak floor, moss-colored leather, and anthracite lighting elements. The luxurious surfaces of these precious materials is illustrative of the careful detailing and thorough design of this building.

Designed by Explicit Architecture

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