1. a hollow in the earth, especially one opening more or less horizontally into a hill, mountain, etc.
2. a storage cellar, especially for wine.
Dating from antiquity, one of the oldest typologies in western civilization has endured several overhauls. Metaphorically, it lends itself to time and slow transformation done in privacy: resting place, time capsule, collector’s safe…and even hedonistic bunker can all be attributed to the wine cellar. No drink has been so deeply intertwined in humankind’s cultural, religious and gastronomic history.
For thousands of years, humans have recognized the need for a space with architectural features that accommodate minimal light, cool temperatures and a constant humidity as the resting place of choice when it comes to wine: ‘Le Cave’. Indeed it is a cave of sorts. But even with these constants, this ‘cave’ can be transformed into an archive, tasting room, exhibition space or even a modest home DIY project for the family. It becomes a different space for different people – contemporary viticulture is losing its status-conscious character, and is less western-centric than ever before.
The brief is a reinterpretation of the wine cellar, or cave – for a contemporary owner, designed for the present and future. The reduced light and cool temperature can be used as conditions that do not revolve around solely storing wine, what could those be today? Would the program be meditative or active? Analog or digital? Addressing privacy, atmosphere and materials, challenge its purpose and use. Question how a space dedicated to time and transformation can adapt for future years through its architecture.