A new retail outlet, called the “Winecenter” was constructed for the Winegrowers’ Cooperative in Caldaro, a well-known town along the South Tyrolean wine route in Northern Italy.
The new building is at the entrance to Caldaro, at the end of a row of wine-cellar buildings, directly on the wine route. As a landmark on the way from Bolzano to Lago di Caldaro, it takes into consideration both the mobile aesthetics of the 21st century as well as the local identity. The heights of the monolithic corpus mediate between the tall main building built in 1911 and smaller buildings added in recent decades, creating an intimate courtyard through its L-shaped floor plan. The skin made of coloured concrete reinforced with fibreglass stretches across the exterior walls and roof, emphasizing, along with the flush window surfaces, the monolithic character of the building. Tension arises between the perception of the uniform shell and the single large interior space that it encloses where a sculptural landscape unfolds, its different heights alone creating a complex progression of atmospheres and spatial impressions. On the inside a veritable wine tour is created, with fluent transitions between the different levels of the encounter with the product wine.
The path leads from the ground floor sales level via a mezzanine half a floor below, where special wine offers are located, up to the village pub with step-seats and a new interpretation of the local bay window; after this, the path continues further to the lounge hovering above the sales level and finally to the special wine-tasting room that is both the highest point and also the endpoint of the spatial development. The sculptural ceiling landscape is made of exposed concrete, acacia parquet and glass, drawing a pronounced figure in front of the restrained white background of the shell. This landscape provides the appropriate setting for the natural colours of wine. The furniture made of acacia wood which enters into a dialogue with the architecture, was specially designed by feld72 for the Winecenter. In collaboration with artist Josef Rainer, a special art object was developed for the presentation of the phenomena of the wine. A series of works by the artist Andrea Varesco positioned within the space forms a permanent artistic intervention.