- Lead Architects:Tim Wilson, Christie Petsinis
- Clients:Medhurst Wines
- Engineering Cellar Door:Webb Consult
- Landscape Cellar Door:Eckersley
- Consultants Cellar Door:SW & Partners Building Surveyors; FCA Food Service Consultant
- Engineering Winery:Coulthard Shim
- Landscape Winery:Frank Woods
- Consultants Winery:Protek Building Surveyors; Fytogreen Green Roof Consultant
- Completion Year:Cellar Door 2019 (Winery 2012)
- Gross Built Area:Cellar Door 200 m2 (Winery 1100 m2)
Medhurst Wines is a bespoke family-run winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. The Cellar Door is an extension to an existing building that seeks to expand the tasting experience and address the site in a broader context. The brief focused on immersing visitors in the Medhurst Wine experience whilst providing a clear connection with the surrounding landscape, vines, and wine production facilities. Through master planning, site analysis and extensive consultation with the client, it was established that a linear extension to the existing building was an effective intervention.
Lengthening the building form, grounds the Cellar Door within the landscape by accentuating the contours of the site. The design of the building uses the same construction technique as the existing structure and continues this in the form of a linear extrusion to the east, with a subtle curve to frame the tasting space. Steel and timber clad blade walls guide visitors through a series of landscaped entry areas, providing a spatial hierarchy whilst framing key views to the surrounding context. The formal language of the building's volumes also links the cellar door with the winery that sits adjacent. The interior employs a raw and natural palette of materials chosen to accentuate the sights and smells associated with winemaking.
A 12 meter long off-form concrete bench, textured timber wall linings and raw steel detailing complement the tasting experience and reference the surrounding Australian bush. Located in a sensitive bushfire zone, an emphasis on durability and sustainability was paramount. The building adopts a reduced material pallet of oxidized steel, local fire resistant timbers and high-performance glass. An extensive roof eave is designed to maximize sunlight during the winter months whilst providing full shade during the summer months, adopting passive principals to reduce mechanical heating and cooling.
A 250-tonne winemaking facility sits adjacent to the cellar door. The design is intended to enable public engagement with the winemaking process. A meandering path leads patrons from wine tasting, through a series of landscaped spaces, to views of the production area and vines beyond. The building is embedded into a north-facing slope and defined by a series of horizontal elements that follow the contours of the site. Nestled quietly into the existing hill to reduce its visual impact on the landscape, and the building accentuates its natural setting by framing views to the surrounding Warramate forest.
The programmatic requirements, orientation, and restrained materials palette were thoroughly considered in order to reduce the building’s energy use, ongoing maintenance and provide a sustainable outcome. A landscaped green roof over the subterranean barrel store provides both a raised terrace with views to the surrounding vines and thermal insulation for the stored wine below, reducing the requirement for mechanical cooling.
Similarly, the heat reflective, polycarbonate cladding to the northern facade of the winemaking area replaces artificial lighting with filtered natural sunlight. At night the wall becomes translucent, revealing the profile of the winemaking equipment within. The building is low maintenance, optimizing natural light and relying on minimal mechanical cooling. The roof collects approximately 500,000 liters of rainwater every year, all of which is filtered and used in the wine-production process.