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Situated in Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin, designed by french practice XTU architects, is a unique venue for culture and recreation where wine comes to life through a sensorial approach, set within an evocative architectural design. A must-see experience during any stay in Bordeaux, but also a place to go if you love architecture and iconic design.
A strong architectural statement, La Cité du Vin stands out with its bold curves and shape. It is much more than a curvaceous building that celebrates the region’s unparalleled wine industry: it’s an iconic building, this golden frame hosts a Cité within the city, a living space with experiences to discover.
The initial aim of the building’s architecture was genuinely to create a link between La Cité du Vin and the spaces surrounding it through perpetual movement. The eye-catching structure, located on the banks of the garonne river, serves as wine theme park — offering tours, tasting areas, boutique concept stores, and a panoramic rooftop restaurant.
Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, the architects from XTU, designed a space shaped by symbols of identity: gnarled vine stock, wine swirling in a glass, eddies on the Garonne, the building’s sinuous façade comprises silk-screen printed panes of glass and perforated, iridescent aluminum panels. Every detail of the architecture evokes wine’s soul and liquid nature: ‘seamless roundness, intangible and sensual’ (XTU Architects).
The ground floor is raw as an immersion stage diving into the project, a crossing point. The mirror reflections are disorienting and encourage visitors to move upwards towards the light. Tasting areas form an important part of the scheme.
The wooded arch of the permanent tour, the strongest area of La Cité du Vin, is like a varied sky. The sky is everything in winemaking, determining the harvest. This wooden sky rises, undulates and tightens. Once again, this is all about movement.
There is also an auditorium for film screenings. It is also important to mention that the building fits in perfectly with the dynamics of the Bassins à Flot eco-district. From the very beginning, french architecture firm XTU aimed to reduce the building’s environmental impact to an absolute minimum. In addition, the roof is protected from the sun by a ‘ventilated shade’ which helps to control the temperature, as does the use of geothermal energy. ‘La Cité du Vin’ is way beyond good wine and good architecture. It’s a great experience and a step ahead towards inovation.
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