Bergmeisterwolf Architekten's extension to the Pacherhof wine cellar in South Tyrol in Italy gives visitors and guests of the Pacherhof Wine Hotel the chance to see the wine-making process up close.
The project is located in the Isarco river valley, near the 12th-century novacella abbey. Here the monks started producing wine from the nearby fields, and many farms followed their example and opened their own wine business. Pacherhof was not just the first, but some documents show that their wine cellar was working even before the construction of the monastery. This is why pacherhof is now considered as an asset of high architectural and cultural value.
From the historic cellar, through a staircase and a tunnel, you reach the new trapezoidal-shaped cellar below the existing land. In the highest corner of the plot, a pyramidal tower emerges, clad in bronze panels that become part of the landscape contrasting with the peaks of the mountains. The tower houses an office and a tasting room on the upper floor. From here the winemaker enjoys a view that embraces the vineyards, the old farm, and the surrounding landscape.
On the ground floor, the bunches of harvested grapes are transported to the basement through an opening in the floor. The actual wine production takes place underground. The openings of the tower have no frame or shading elements but are flush with the bronze panels, and the glass is treated with a bronzed effect. The aim is to create a solid, pure, monolithic geometric volume. The entrance to the cellar is marked by a concrete wall which has two functions: on the one hand, it serves to direct the visitor towards the car park, and on the other, it accompanies the ramp leading to the new cellar.
The choice of materials reinforces the contrast between the old and the new cellar: on the one hand the raw plaster and the metal for the extension, on the other hand, the smooth plaster and wood for the old cellar. The old vaults and the new forms of expansion, the grey plaster of the existing cellar and the raw plaster of the new one establish relationships capable of highlighting the historical, cultural and sensory value of the intervention.