Donum Estate Vertical Panorama Pavilion Studio Other spaces

Donum Estate, a 200-acre winery located between California’s Napa and Sonoma counties, ranks among the world’s top destinations for outdoor sculpture. Her enviable collectibles include a dozen bronzes zodiac heads by Ai WeiweiA apparently deserted warplane by Anselm Kiefer, a giant pumpkin Yayoi KusamaA stainless steel banyan tree that grows dishes and utensils Subodh Gupta. but when Olafur Eliasson Before an invitation from owners Mei and Allan Warburg to visit the Donum three years ago, he wanted to contribute a piece of architecture rather than a sculpture.

It is not about creating a monument. The most important thing in a winery is the moment the wine enters your mouth, so this is what we set out to focus on: the wine tasting suite,” the artist explains while meeting in Berlin in April. Also attending is Sebastian Bahmann, his architectural collaborator since 2001 and fellow co-founder of Studio Other Spaces. The studio is known for its experiments at the intersection of architecture and art, including projects FjordenhausHeadquarters of an investment firm in Vejle, Denmark; The Seeing City, a permanent facility for the top two floors of a skyscraper in Paris; and the upcoming Common Sky, a glass and mirror canopy for the courtyard of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

For Eliasson, wine is “a testament to the earth.” Its taste can be shaped by the winemaker, but in the end it is determined by the landscape, biodiversity, and of course the weather – a perennial profession dating back to weather project (2003), his basic composition in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. His vertical panoramic suite on the Donum Estate, which opened today (August 1, 2022), is an ode to the natural conditions that make wine possible—a particularly apt approach that sees “Donum” meaning “gift of the earth” in Latin. The defining feature of the pavilion is a conical canopy with a diameter of 14.5 meters and composed of 832 colored glass tiles that tell the story of the local weather. “It is about celebrating the demise, bringing to your attention everything that is often not quantifiable, and therefore often forgotten.”

Aerial view of the vertical panoramic pavilion, showing the canopy of 832 colored glass tiles

But first, the location. Studio Other Spaces was looking for a quiet place, not too close to the Donum sculptures but also not too far. We then wanted a great view of the estate in the north, but also toward the bay in the south. It’s a site where it’s all exposed, says Beeman, where you can look around and see the whole environment that the wine is made of. Another requirement is that Donum’s other architecture should be largely out of sight (there is a wine production facility, Hospitality Centerand the white cube preservation facility that houses the artwork Louise Bourgeois And the Anatsu), so visitors to the pavilion can enjoy an uninterrupted horizon, “where heaven meets earth”.

Eliasson and Bahman identified a small hill that would meet their needs, and the Warburgs agreed to move a Corten steel sculpture by Keith Haring to make room for the new wing. Then came the landscaping task: the southeast part of the site was raised to break the prevailing winds, and a meandering path of gravel was cut across the ground to transport visitors below ground level. As you meander, you see the terrain rising around you – a reminder that soil is not only the land you walk on, but also home to roots and microorganisms. By the time you arrive, you are in the ground below. ‘You will have detoxed the world outside the acre and sensitized yourself to the wine experience,’ says Eliasson.

The soil is the first of three layers in Studio Other Spaces’ vertical panorama concept, which takes you on a journey through several layers of Donum. “It brings the horizontal idea of ​​a panorama into a vertically organized image,” Bahman describes. The second layer is the flora and fauna, which appears at eye height as you enter the circular access space in the center of the pavilion. This unusual perspective encourages you to smell the grass, listen to its rustle in the wind, listen to the chirping of insects, and enjoy the flutter of butterflies. Your perception of the lawn is heightened by the flow of light through the intentionally low glass canopy, which dances the space with changing colors. The effect is dazzling, dream-like and distinguished by Eliasson.

View of the vertical panoramic pavilion, with the gravel path leading to the access area (center) and tasting space (left)

The access space opens up to two other circular areas: a smaller service area, lined with lockers; and a larger tasting space, with oval brass tables and seating for twelve along its perimeter. As you enter the tasting space, you sit on thickly cushioned benches and recline on oval-shaped cushions, according to Bahman, inspired by “how squirrels put their stuff in the ground.” Having looked out into the bay to the south, your eyes are now trained on the canopy, which Studio Other Spaces envisioned as a calendar wheel. The 832 glass tile consists of 24 colors in transparent and translucent tones, giving a visual representation of the annual averages of four meteorological parameters: wind, humidity, temperature, and solar radiation. As Eliasson said, “You look at everything I tell you what you are about to taste,” the weather behind Donum’s famous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Having the eye in the center of the canopy means that your gaze will eventually rest on the azure sky.

Each of the four parameters is represented by individual rings inside the calendar wheel, and there is a subtle color logic: for example, red indicates high temperatures and blue indicates low temperatures. But Eliasson and Bahman say that the canopy is not intended to be read as a graph. Instead, it is intended to make you aware of the elements. “It also credits our subconscious mind with playing an important role in the perception of taste, light, and color,” Eliasson suggests. “Introducing a myth to people to decipher the calendar would take attention away from wine.”

The artist points out that in wine tastings, and indeed in art galleries, there is a danger of people being overwhelmed with information and prescribing specific fast food, “so they feel really stupid when they leave. It is important not to talk to people, but rather to enable them to grow and thrive. Although the vertical panoramic pavilion is instantly recognizable as the Eliasson Project, it is also deliberately non-compulsory. Rather than forcing an artificial intervention (for example, choosing a funky roof shape), the pavilion simply opens your senses to the natural surroundings, emphasizing your appreciation for acre wines.

He adds that “the presence of different experiences in wine is not necessarily a conflict. It is simply an acknowledgment of the possibility of being together without having to be the same. There is an element of generosity in this, and belief in a diverse tomorrow.

Detailed view of the vertical panoramic pavilion, with light streaming through the glass canopy coloring the grass in warm hues. in the distance love me (2016) by Richard Hudson

Just as the intent of the vertical panoramic pavilion reflects Eliasson’s social convictions, its palette of materials and construction is also in keeping with its environment: the low walls that line the path and the pavilion’s interior are made of earthen brick from nearby Sacramento (“the idea is: to use as much knowledge as possible). local and material intelligence”, says Bahman). The twelve columns that support the glass canopy and the canopy structure itself are all stainless steel, eliminating the need for painting and leading to eventual recycling. The 832 panels are made from recycled glass. The concentric lattice of the canopy is supported by a spiral covering, which Bahman explains is a material-saving construction: “As always, we work with the same mindset as architects such as Frei Otto and Buckminster Fuller, minimizing physical efforts by mimicking natural constructions and the natural forms of grows. .

This passion for sustainability certainly resonated with the Warburgs, who championed bio-processes on the acres, along with renewable farming practices like composting, biochar, and livestock integration. “This suite blends in perfectly with what we strive to achieve – a holistic sensory experience based on our passion for wine, nature, art, design and architecture,” they say. “The design principles, set in the light of California, will create a sensory experience based on the engagement of an acre in the natural world, to enhance the experience of all our visitors.” §