A gravel-ballasted roof plane is extended over a series of spaces set into a rising spur of land on Brancott Vineyard, situated at the base of Marlborough’s Wither Hills in the South Island of New Zealand. This vineyard is recognized as the first site for planting of the now globally renowned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The client wished to construct a facility that celebrated this heritage, extending an invitation to experience the unique environment of their place in the wider Marlborough landscape.
The spaces provided by the structure accommodate dining spaces, tasting facilities and private hosting & meeting spaces, all set to take advantage of the extensive outlook over the valley floor.
As the ridgeline rises, the character of the spaces transitions from an elevated terrace perched above the contour to a private dining room carved out of the ground plane, surrounded by the rock and gravel resulting from its excavation.
The design maximises the high diurnal variation of the region. The broad roof provides shading to relevant sun angles while the envelope provides natural ventilation &daylighting to all spaces. Thermal mass is increased through heavily insulated concrete construction, stormwater harvested and wastewater managed on site, ensuring the facility has minimal impact on its remote vineyard setting.
The architecture combines sandblasted cast concrete, blackened steel and local gravels to provide a structure that is physically stitched into its environment. The spreading roof plane hovers against the ridgeline as a minimal but powerful presence in the landscape.