Norman Foster to design Chateau Margaux cellars

Lord Norman Foster, perhaps best known for his work for the British Museum, Berlin Reichstag, the Hearst Tower in New York and HSBC’s headquarters in Hong Kong, is to revamp the cellars at the listed Chateau Margaux.

The renovation will see Foster design a library of a different kind: a past vintage library, alongside an area which will allow red and white wines to be vinified in the same cellars for the first time since the 1970s.

Above ground, outlying buildings will be turned into reception centres and tasting rooms, with the cooperage moving back to its original 19th century site across the courtyard.

With this long-planned work for Margaux, due to begin in spring 2013, Foster is adding to his winery-design portfolio, having designed Bodegas Portia in Ribera del Duero which opened its doors in 2010. Foster said of the building: “The wine was the starting point, as well as the beautiful setting in Ribera del Duero. Using materials that draw on the region’s winemaking traditions, with public spaces open to the landscape, which will enhance the visitor experience.”

Other famous architects that have helped design wineries include Frank Gehry’s design for Marqués de Riscal and Santiago Calatrava’s Ysios, also in Rioja. The list is growing with the news that French designer Philippe Starck is to design a new winery, barrel cellars and reception area at Chateau Carmes Haut-Brion in Pessac-Leognan.

Back in Bordeaux this summer, having helped design a control tower for Bordeaux airport in 1999, Starck has a reputation built upon creating classic Alessi kitchen products and furniture design, and has recently designed hotels in Paris and New York.

The charming Chateau Carmes Haut-Brion, is to have a new cellar due to the expansion of the vineyards. The entrance to the walled estate has recently been moved to a new location on rue des Carmes, meaning that this is now the only Bordeaux wine property with a city centre 33000 postcode.