château la coste is a vineyard in the south of france that, in addition to its wine-making program, includes major works of contemporary art and architecture across its 500 acre campus. joining tadao ando, frank gehry, and jean nouvel, renzo piano is the latest pritzker laureate to complete a structure for the ever-expanding complex. the ‘pavilion of photography’ forms a exhibition venue buried six meters below ground.

renzo piano pavilion of photography
all images © stéphane aboudaram | we are content(s)

 

 

surrounded by grapevines, the RPBW-designed building seeks to display art and preserve château la coste’s wine supplies. the sunken 285 square meter structure uses exposed concrete for the retaining and exhibition walls, a material choice that contrasts the glazed façades and roof canopy. ‘the partly buried building highlights the roof covered with a sail fastened to thin metal arches,’ explains the architects. ‘these arches echo the graphical layout of the grapevines, enabling to integrate the sail into the vineyard.’

renzo piano pavilion of photography
the sunken structure uses exposed concrete for its retaining and exhibition walls

 

 

accessed via a long ramp that cuts into the terrain, the building contains galleries within a 160 square meter space. illuminated with natural light, the exhibition area is flanked by two cellars that preserve the site’s acclaimed wine. at the rear of the building, an outdoor area dedicated to sculpture is visually extended by a body of water that reflects the full width of the pavilion. the venue’s inaugural display is ‘the sea and the mirror’ by japanese photographer hiroshi sugimoto, which remains on view until september 3, 2017.

renzo piano pavilion of photography
the building is accessed via a long ramp that cuts into the terrain

 

 

project info:

 

status: completed 2017
client: SCEA château la coste
design: renzo piano building workshop
design team: j. moolhuijzen, d. rat, m.van der staay (partner and associates in charge) with k. lim; o. aubert, c. colson and y. kyrkos (models)

 

consultants
roof structure: arup
main structure, MEP: AECOM
local architect: tangram architectes
project & construction management: rainey best

 

main contractors
tensile fabric structure: architen landrell
glazing: newsky
lighting: iGuzzini

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