christian de portzamparc: chateau cheval blanc winery christian de portzamparc: chateau cheval blanc winery
jul 19, 2012

christian de portzamparc: chateau cheval blanc winery

‘chateau cheval blanc’ by christian de portzamparc, saint-emilion, france image © erick saillet all images courtesy of christian de portzamparc




owners of the cheval blanc winery, baron frere and bernard arnault, wanted to capture the same elegance and attention to detail that goes into their cherished product when designing their new establishment. french architect christian de portzamparc, winner of the 1994 pritzker prize, conceived of the new ‘chateau cheval blanc’ in saint-emilion. also known as ‘the winery under the hill’, the new establishment is located under a massive sweeping structure with a rooftop garden and is always visually and spatially connected to the rows of grapevines. the entirely concrete construction boasts six curvilinear load-bearing walls that flow through the program as the main support system connected by a series of crossbeams. the canopy is pulled away from the immense members creating skylights that create the opportunity for natural light to subtly find its way inside.



approach image © erick saillet




the re-purposed orangery, originally part of the chateau, now acts as the reception with a small glass enclosure connecting it to the new project that extends views towards the exterior. proceeding to the cuvier, 52 custom-made vats line the interior partitions, constituting the most expansive volume in the design. an open courtyard serves as a multipurpose area used for sorting and bottling and provides an entry sequence to the workshops, a wood-clad space used for packaging. undulating polished concrete girders held by round columns enclose the wine cellar capable of holding 566 barrels, with brick mashrabiya walls that hide the mechanical components behind. the green roof invites the user to view the revered vineyard landscape responsible for the success of the business.


context with chateau image © erick saillet



workshop image © erick saillet



workshop image © erick saillet






stairs to roof garden image © gerard uferas



exterior image © gerard uferas



multipurpose space image © erick saillet



multipurpose space image © erick saillet



tasting room image © erick saillet



cuvier image © erick saillet






(left) wall structure with roof connection (right) interior cuvier with overhead walkways



cuvier image © erick saillet



work space image © erick saillet



wine cellar image © gerard uferas



reception and tasting room image © erick saillet



orangery and new structure image © erick saillet



back entry image © erick saillet



rooftop garden image © erick saillet



rooftop garden



site plan



roof plan



floor plan / level 0green: reception area red: cuvier white: mechanical/technical blue: multipurpose space yellow: workshops



floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



floor plan / level -1






section perspective



primary structure diagram

  • beautiful and interesting spaces/visuals
    would have made things much more real to have a few people in the pictures
    would have given size comparisons… a humanness
    and especially up on the roof garden/deck
    thank you

    Paedra says:
  • Absolutely beautiful!

    Anon says:
  • fantástico

    paulex says:
  • This is a rare example of a successful blend of architecture and sculpture……and boy, is it successful. Absolutely stunning.

    Sparky says:
  • I love the way this project almost defies analysis…one simply wants to surrender to its experience, and be amidst the elegant celebration of its function.

    How confounding such a beautiful work must be to those who would confuse its speechless quality with the arbitrary work of \”The Formalistas\”.

    Bravo Maestro

    Chaszr says:
  • just one word
    SUPERB !!!!!
    congratulations christian

    sparola says:
  • To the Owner: When true art is present in living and working spaces, the work transforms from merely a painful cost to a worthwhile investment to be cherished. To the Architect: Youve dramatically left your mark on the world. Sensibly, you could stop right here. To the rest of us: Shamefully, I have to throw away all my work and start over.

    charles says:
  • Superior taste congrats to the owner and designer

    Bijal says:
  • STUPENDO….amazing everything…congratulations!

    lou says:
  • Aside from all the patently good ways this project works, the inevitable building reg issues of undulating landscape buildings have been dealt with masterfully.
    If those great flank walls were double-curved, Zaha-like, this would have diminished the work into a blob. The result here is Utzon-like.

    efs says:
  • Sensational d’-!) A vision of the traditional meeting modern in a homogenous blend so pleasing to the eye. Congratulations Christian on such a sensitive, pragmatic creation. The only thing missing photowise, was a photo taken from the roof garden over the traditional. Wow d’-)

    Jetwax says:
  • W-o -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w ! BRAVO! says:
  • The table is very original designed like the waves-sculpture of the building: congrates to make architecture so beautiful!

    tish says:
  • Grace in motion.

    AB says:
  • An architectural expression infused with poetry, presence and panache.

    YAHEBA says:
  • Is it because of my computer, or the website \”christian de portzamparc\” isn\’t just working ?

    Xa says:
  • are you all kidding?

    jota brazil says:
  • superb mindblowing

    architect snehal joshi says:

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