cumulus studio’s vineyard observatory frames views of australian peninsula
(above) the lookout allows visitors to appreciate the landscape from different vantage points
all images © tanja milbourne




located on the scenic drive along tasmania’s east coast, the new ‘devil’s corner cellar door and lookout’ sits within one of the area’s largest vineyards, with a panoramic view over the freycinet peninsula. reopened in december 2015, the project was designed by cumulus studio for brown brothers, an australian wine company, and it seeks to amplify the experience of this iconic view to create a new tourism experience on the east coast of tasmania. originally a small demountable building, the ‘cellar door’ has been extended and expanded, paired with a lookout and complimentary food experiences, providing a backdrop for seasonal events. the structure was designed as a loose collection of timber clad buildings that, through similar aesthetic and material treatment, form a modern interpretation of traditional farm / rural settlement that gather over time.


video courtesy of brown brothers




the cellar door & food market have been collected around a courtyard space which allows shelter and respite from the surrounding environment while allowing views through the tasting space to the hazards beyond and access to open deck spaces. through the careful placement of a series of timber clad shipping containers, visitors are invited to visually explore the landscape within and around the vineyard through curated framed views. 

the approach to the lookout with views to the coastline




the lookout element is a critical component of the design, not only in providing a visual signifier for the settlement but also as a way of interpreting the landscape from which the devil’s corner wines originate. in the same way that an appreciation of wine can be gained through understanding its subtleties and varying ‘in-mouth’ sensations, there are many ways landscape can be appreciated. the lookout plays with this idea. the three distinct spaces reference different and unique views of the site – firstly the sky, then the horizon and lastly the tower which winds its way upward providing views to each of the compass points before culminating in an elevated and expansive view of the bay. by creating a dynamic scenic lookout and providing associated facilities, visitors are drawn to the new upgraded cellar door for the devil’s corner wine label.

the ‘sky’ lookout and ‘tower’ lookout, constructed from shipping containers




steel was an ideal material for the project as it allowed for a large amount of structure to be prefabricated off-site, providing timing and logistics advantages for the remote location. the underlying structure of the buildings and tower for the devil’s corner is made from repurposed and adapted shipping containers, chosen not only because of their easily transportable modular size but also because of their structural integrity and steel’s inherent flexibility and ability to be modified. a total of 10 containers have been used — 5 in the lookout and 5 in the market area.

the culmination of the ‘sky’ lookout provides elevated views over the freycinet peninsula




the integral strength of the containers made them a perfect choice for the construction of the lookout in particular, enabling the structure of the building to be delivered to site, and erected quickly. each container has been modified in various ways – the cranked ‘sky’ lookout cut from two parts of a container and reassembled; the ‘horizon’ lookout which is able to bridge between land and the ‘tower’ despite one side being cut out; and the ‘tower’ lookout constructed from two containers end on end, inside of which a steel plate stair winds its way up past projecting landings on each side. these landings provide views over the landscape as the viewer moves up the tower; the black steel box frames fixed to the container and cantilevering over the vineyard.

views of the surrounding landscape are framed both inside and outside the lookout




craned into position in parts, the lookout’s structural integrity relies on all of the pieces locking in together. the design deliberately reverses the typical aesthetic treatment of steel. rather than cladding the building in steel, it has been expressed internally, revealing the raw, industrial nature of the construction and hinting at the industrial underpinning of the production process. the external timber cladding (which acts as a visual screen only) plays on the rural / agricultural qualities of the site, with the internal steel skin being revealed in a consistent manner through the expression of each of the openings – the apertures in the lookout and opening to the cellar door.

the cranked ‘sky’ lookout greets visitors on arrival

the ‘horizon’ lookout bridges between the ‘sky’ and ‘tower’ lookout, providing views across the landscape

mirrored stainless steel gives the impression of the tower stretching up infinitely

shipping containers have been cut and stitched back together to provide angled views of the sky

timber-clad shipping containers house local food retailers, clustered around a sheltered courtyard
the low-sitting cellar door allows views across the landscape from elevated parts of the site

the buildings sit within the existing vineyard



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news