The Fender Katsalidis-designed Levantine Hill Estate winery building has been completed, marking the design firm’s first rural tourism architecture project.
Based in the Yarra Valley, the project is valued at over $30 million, and is the second phase of development at Levantine Hill overseen by the practice. The site is already home to a completed cellar door/restaurant, with luxury accommodation forthcoming, both designed by Fender Katsalidis.
Fender Katsalidis Founding Partner Karl Fender says the building’s design has derived much of its character from the surrounding landscape.
“It really is a compelling building form suited to the rural environment, in harmony with the surrounding rolling mountains and vineyards,” he says.
“The design pairs well with the high quality of wine produced by Levantine Hill and adds dimension to the Yarra Valley visitation experience. In the same way that fine wines are about the personal experience of savouring subtle qualities, the building is a space also designed for heightened sensory enjoyment.”
The building is home to an event space, wine production facilities, tasting areas and a lounge distributed through three levels within a soaring 20 metre diameter, metal-lined, barrel vaulted building.
The shape of the building is a subliminal reference to wine barrels and its material palette of concrete, corrugated iron, glass, and steel all reference countryside vernacular.
Visible from the highway, it forms a strong point of recognition for Levantine Hill, acting as a landmark in its regional context, perhaps in a similar way that the firm’s skyscrapers are urban markers in the Melbourne urban context.
This building also includes a pavilion annexe connected to the main barrel vault which can be an integral part of the main function space or utilised as a discrete multi-use area.
“It’s a unique building with a lovely blend of uses – it provides the volume and presence appropriate for the industrial purposes of winemaking as well as an inspiring space for weddings and other special events,” adds Fender.
“Each stage of our masterplan complements the vineyards and are held together through their materiality and soft building forms.”
Levantine Hill’s Managing Director Samantha Jreissati says the practice has created a space that not only speaks to its surroundings, but one that properly showcases the Levantine Hill range.
“The idea is to provide an entire sensory experience befitting our wines. Whilst visually stunning and making a statement about us, our region and our country, it is also designed to be highly functional and efficient, respecting the bucolic vineyard surrounding it,” she says.
Levantine Hill is located at 882 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, and is open from 11am to 5pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday, and 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, head to levantinehill.com.au.