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Engraving An Immersive Wine Experience Imbibed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS

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Taste the magical blends of wine, deeply rooted to traditions, infused with the rich and varied heritage of Lahofer Winery designed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS nestled in the Moravian countryside.

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“Wine is bottled poetry”, these are words by the prolific writer Robert Louis Stevenson. The story of wine is deeply engraved into our history, from religious ceremonies, to trade and health and bonding relationships, this celebrated drink has made its mark around the globe. The design of a winery calls for attention. The Lahofer Winery, nestled in the Moravian countryside brings about a longstanding wine tradition and contemporary wine-making to its glory and grace. A structure immersed itself into the landscape, envisaged as a wine-making facility, an administrative base, a visitor’s centre and an adjoining tasting room in subtle symbiosis encircling enticing views and vines.

Located in the Czech Republic, CHYBIK + KRISTOF ARCHITECTS have sparked an intriguing dialogue surrounding the landscape, reflecting on modern wine-making. The design weaves together three distinct interconnected structures emulating the archetypal wine cellars of the region, where the vault of the Winery rests on a grid of arched beams.

The architects Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof preserve the essence and integrity of the design and its surroundings. The design ushers the legacy of the Winery grounded to cultural heritage with bowing respects to the natural environment. The waveforms of the undulating roof synchronize with the landscape deriving from the topography and architectural tradition. Evoking the characteristic arched wine cellars, a colonnade of vaulted beams frame the interior environment as its curves and drapes along the exterior shell, with the smooth rise and fall of the walkable roof acting as an inclined open-air amphitheatre and cultural venue. The volume of the building is light, as it humbly rests on the fertile soil, along with three diverse spaces connected below, each attributed with various functions integrated within.

Towering the concave roof, the space unfolds into a vast cellar, embracing the archetypal Czech wineries expressed by exposed rib construction. The interesting angles of the ceiling make way to compose independently designed concrete arches set at a distance determined by the vine rows. The viewers gaze travels through the grapevines along the rise of each module from a vine row, running across the space in perfect visual symmetry.

The visitor centre, enclosed in a glass façade, facing south, invokes plenty of light as the windows act as concealed separation from the exterior vine rows. The centre invites for an ambient experience with nature, blending with the ornate cellar chiselled in wood, concrete and glass.

A large-scale mural painting tampered, irregular and sparse stroked, ranging from earthy reds and blacks, browns and beiges, invoke the soil variations and weightlessness covering the entire ceiling. Czech contemporary artist Patrik Hábl seemingly dashes his brushes from the ground, leaving timeless markings on the walls.

Extending from the form, it stretches to two production halls of distinct heights. The first lower hall holds wine-making production and employee facilities. In contrast, the second allows for operations that require lower temperatures, such as the winepress, the cellar, and the wine store. The varying levels emulating the terrain allows for the alignment of corresponding functional exterior courtyards, one serving the operational area centralizing logistic and production presses, the other holding the arena extending to enriching views of the landscape.

The rhythmic vines add to the open space emerging from the amphitheatre investing the boundless roof overlooking a horizon nurtured by its history. The Lahofer Winery does go beyond being a production site into addressing the local culture, serving as a communal space dedicated to cultural events, including local grape harvest celebrations and theatre performances. This place is a hub for connecting the community with visitors of the region and wine connoisseurs.

The Lahofer Winery is a profound reflection of the balance between nature and built forms. A sound and moving journey that stretches about the dazzling landscape, with the slow rise of the curves as an open invitation welcoming you to experience, appreciate the history and imbibe the wine and its traditions.

Architects: CHYBIK + KRISTOF
Area: 3842 m²
Location: Dobšice, Czech Republic
Year: 2019
Photographs: Alex shoots buildings, Laurian Ghinitoiu

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