Domaines Ott Winery
Winery and agricultural buildings in the Côtes de Provence, France.
Building in stone implies carving a mountain, the result imposing and profound, creating a presence with self- evident materiality. On this site, near the Cistercian Abbaye du Thoronet, building with stone extracted from Roman quarries places the project in a temporality resonant with the landscape.
The stone blocks, mathematical, are one by one metres by fifty centimetres thick, and weigh exactly one metric ton. They rise in equilibrium ten metres high, twist and turn. The walls dilate, filigrees of pure weight in the sun.
The winery and visitor’s centre marks a new horizon in the Provençal landscape, a mineral presence anchored in the rolling vineyards overlooking the historic Chateau de Selle. Two walls in solid stone rise parallel to the road and wine terraces, the one curved to follow the speed of passing vehicles. The massive walls frame the winemaking process, sheltering the wine, work and visitors.
The walls are both imposing and light, shifting as needed to become porous screens, providing views, access and ventilation.
The building is partially sunk into the hill, a thermally inert emergence optimised for winemaking. The slope allows for a natural gravitational flow and a coherent linear process, visible from the public esplanade and reception areas overlooking the cask-room and steel tank hall.
The sun warms the surface of the stone, soft as sand. Visitors can measure themselves against the human scale of the blocks, close enough to be touched. It is a meeting of the senses. What remains are the pines, the vines and the mountain.