In the past two years, Runaway Cow Winery Penglai has attracted some attention. Also, we have been asked more by friends. So we thought it would be better to look back at the whole design process and share it with everyone in writing.
"What do a winery look like? Sunshine, wine castle, Mediterranean exotic style? Or tourists-interweaving- shopping destination? Or is it t private estate in the news?”
These questions, along with a one-page request and an oral vision of interesting in the Napa Valley in the United States made up the first edition of the Mission Statement eight years ago.
However, as we grew the proposal to more than 20 pages, together with our equally ambitious proprietor, we decided to appropriately discard the label and redefine a contemporary winery.
Follow the Napa Valley's lead，which represents a relaxed, wine-based consumer culture， we saw that the two-hour drive away wineries became weekend conversation places for Bay Area.
It's not the booze culture. It's the ancient wine or tea culture of “Yaji”or and more recent culture of springs, skiing, golf -- a relaxed weekend with a few friends. In fact, the site is within 10 minutes of the airport and 2-hour travel circle from a wide range of areas.
We want the new winery to carry the ambition of "cultivating a wine culture". To build a winery that matches the culture of Yaji, we may first break away from the inherent cognition.
Wines were labeled luxury goods when they first arrived in China. Because of the concept of subdivided production areas, varieties and wine tasters' certificates, it was labeled with a layer of lofty culture. The shape intention of winery was often hidden in a large grape field. Therefore, custom, minority, internality has become an era of people's inherent cognition of the image of the winery.
However, in today's online and offline multimedia interaction, "Yaji" group and the space carrying it also change a lot. Sharing and openness have become the theme. What we want to create is a public place that emphasizes communication.
The original form is based on the mountain. After several rounds of comparison, the proprietor chose a relatively publicized form: solid base, co construction with mountain shape; the upper form symbolizes "drinking". Although a little high-profile, but it is the determination to set a benchmark.
The design uses glass in all the viewing surfaces to present the surrounding environment to the maximum extent. And he introduction of partial floating windows strengthens this outward posture.
At the beginning of the design, there was also a concept of "due to local conditions" to prove the "publicity", for which the yellow stone excavated locally was directly used as the facade material. At last, although it was not used 100% due to the size mismatch of the blocks, the newly purchased stone was still the nearest surrounding stone with the closest composition.
The French winemaker of the project imagined that "without changing the pH value of the natural land, the grape would be as good as it was in the initial exploration.".
In the small area of Mulan Valley, where the site is located, shows the architectural expression of culture and the interweaving influence of the brand of China's construction era in the past 20 years.
There are two wineries around. One is the first British Chateau with Taiwan investment background, which has been built for many years. The other is the Chinese courtyard winery with Chinese roof, which has just been built and foreign investment background.
As the first winery in the region, the English Castle was designed as the castle style directly.
The quality of the building itself is excellent, and the material selection and the proportion of the form are all level. But, the style of the ancient castle is inherently introverted and defensive make interior space too closed off from the beautiful scenery of the surrounding.
A few years later, the Chateau de Rothschild de Pommel came too.
The name Lafite has established the authority of the chateau in the old world. It chooses Chinese roofs and courtyards as the architectural language to interpret and collage the local intention of foreign culture in reverse. Because of its positioning as a purely productive winery, the courtyard serves more for internal enjoyment than for public access.
With the first two as far as the site is concerned, we hope that this design will be more "local" . Before starting the design, we made clear all the conditions within a 5-kilometer radius by stepping on the ground, looking for various elements that could be responded to. And then, we used contemporary architectural design techniques to communicate with them.
The apple forest and Hanxi in the site, together with the newly added design elements - flower path and sunken courtyard, will enter the exclusive vineyard of the winery. Guests can appreciate the beauty of Hanxi, visit the grape picking and taste the brewing process with the guidance of the design.
The Qiushan reservoir, evergreen hills, grape fields and original villages outside the base are all in our eyes.
Penglai is located in the north. In order to avoid the wind and the cold, most of the local houses are equipped with small inner courtyard. We follow this prototype and design the guest room living inner courtyard and public sunken garden.
There is a difference between the elegant “Yaji” that we want to create and the fleeting tourist experience.
In terms of building function layout, we have adopted the back-to-back mode of production area, wine tasting area and hotel area and integrated the shopping places into the place of "Yaji culture".
The whole process of positive sequence visit is bound to form a crossing of some production areas. We have designed a totally closed glass channel which is interspersed in two layers. From the planting garden landscape, experience the picking, stemming, pressing, brewing, fermentation, aging, canning, bottle storage areas, and finally bring people back to the wine tasting area to really taste good wine.
In addition to the winery's "visit here", we provide more experiences such as "meal" in meal and wine culture. In the winery, there are various theme restaurants ranging from light catering to formal dining, and even half of them are put forward to make multi-functional banquet hall.
With the local origin of wine and local beauty and the local ingredients cooked by the Michelin background chef team, it provides a full range of dining experience.
The wine tasting area faces both the beautiful scenery and the good wine in the pot.
The hall with a sense of ceremony provides more possibilities for rich activities.
"In the early morning, you can wake up gently by the sun, the sweet birdsong will jump into your ear, the slightly moist wine will float to the tip of your nose with the fragrance of plants and trees, as if you are lying in nature and waking up with the earth."
Each guest room has a unique view - near the mountain, far away from the water, as well as the destination grape fields and Mulan village.
In the third year of the project construction (2017), when the region further rose, the demand for "accommodation" increased. The second phase of the Runaway Cow Boutique Hotel is another story about the earth, mountain and wild living. To be continued...
Finally, we would like to thank the proprietors for their full trust in the field team. We hope the winery can arouse more beautiful ripples in the Penglai producing area later.