True to the story of Odette, the swan princess in Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, the walls of the new portal at Odette Estate evoke the sweeping curve of a swan’s wing, wrapping each visitor to the winery caves in their embrace.
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As part of our ongoing collaboration with the Plumpjack Group, we wanted the new design for this small cave portal to reflect the group’s respect for the land and their dedication to sustainability, while embodying the feminine qualities of the estate's production winery at a smaller scale.
The new portal to the wine cave at Odette Estate sits near the entry to the estate’s tasting room, and is an integral part of the visitors’ winery experience. True to the story of Odette, the swan princess in Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, the walls of the new portal evoke the sweeping curve of a swan’s wing. In our design process, we studied the the shapes of a swan’s wings, and found the same curve echoed in both an embrace and in the act of taking off in flight.
To build out our vision for the portal, we removed the existing linear retaining wall, which disrupted the curvature of the hillside, and restored the natural grade. The new curved walls stabilize the hillside minimize the cave’s impact on the land, while embracing our overall design concept. Crafted from shotcrete stained a dark charcoal, the walls mimic the walls of the production winery nearby.
We added a second cave entry directly adjacent to the original entry. The side-by-side entry doors now lead to two separate caves: the original cave, now used for hospitality, and a new cave leading to the production winery. The two doors are split by a perforated metal screen – a direct reference to the production winery’s sliding screens – which ventilates the tunnels and is dramatically backlit at night.
Grassi & Associates
The Cave Company
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