Chai de Château Faugères
33330 Saint-Emilion, Gironde, France
The vineyard of Saint Emilion, registered as a cultural heritage site, is characterized by its stone and tile architecture employing simple and practical geometric shapes.
In accordance with the new goals established for quality in the methodology applied to wine making, it was necessary to double the surface of the existing wine warehouses. The addition is a building 75m in length and 10 m in width with a large nave made of stone and tiles. This allows a visual continuity on the exterior, treated in exposed concrete or waxed and with stainless steel on the interior. This adds a contemporary dimension to the building, acknowledging new technologies applied to the trade of winemaking.
With an east-west orientation along its length, the new fermenting room creates a semi-enclosed courtyard between the existing buildings. The extension of the roof, which is supported by arcades located on the south side, creates a gallery that can accommodate the traditional celebrations inherent to wine making. Access at harvest time is provided via a monumental door on the north side, at the scale of the landscape it faces. All parts of the wine warehouse are accessible from the main hall: fermenting room, laboratory, storage and bottling, barrel cellar and offices on the ground floor, wine tasting room and upper level access pathway. From the outside, the visitor cannot distinguish between the new architecture and the old; the new buildings are integrated with the existing architecture as if they had always been there. The contrast is particularly striking when one progressively discovers the interiors of the buildings.