A new winery project in Moravia by Czech architects Chybik + Kristof takes its inspiration from the region’s landscape
Vinarství Lahofer/ Lahofer Winery
Dobšice, Czech Republic
Chybik + Kristof
Chybik + Kristof team
Ondrej Chybík, Michal Krištof, Lenka Vorechovská, Adam Jung, Hanka AlGibury, Karolina Holánková, Martin Holý, Vojtech Kouril, Ondrej Mundl, Matej Štrba, Zuzana Záthurecká, Victor Cojocaru, Zuzana Pelikánová
Words by Sophie Tolhurst
Images by Alex Shoots Buildings
The gorgeous undulating form of the Czech Republic’s Lahofer Winery, by Czech architects Chybik + Kristof, is not only inspired by the Moravian region’s topography, but appears to merge with it; the hill of the roof curves over the winery’s facilities as if a continuation of the surrounding slopes, while the concave space provides room for an open air amphitheatre, and its underside, containing the visitor centre, is revealed by a glazed colonnade of arches.
Custom-made black conical pendant lights hang down from the ceiling
The Moravian region has a long tradition of winemaking, and the Lahofer Winery, established in 2003, has expanded to become one of the largest wine producers in the Czech Republic, producing half a million bottles annually from land covering more than 430 hectares. The winery was named after another of the region’s cultural exports: the locally born artistic woodcarver Jan Lahofer, whose major works include an intricately carved walnut library designed for a Premonstratensian monastery in Louka, later relocated to Strahov in Prague and still a tourist attraction today. The new winery buildings provide a contemporary winemaking facility and administrative base, as well as a visitor centre and tasting room, plus space for cultural events.
Between each rib is a painting by Czech artist Patrick Hábl
The architecture’s visual engagement with the natural landscape and the cultivation of that land for wine production feels honest to its purpose, trying, as the architects explain, to preserve ‘the essence and integrity of both soil and culture’.
The recognisable image of the traditional wine cellar is brought above ground. Under the hill of the building, it retains the vaulted feel of the cellar with its exposed rib structure. These structural arches are all different, to support the undulating roof, and were poured on site.
Chybik + Kristof has created a building ‘that profoundly respects the environment on which it rests’
Between each rib, contrasting with their smooth concrete, is a painting by Czech artist Patrick Hábl that spans the whole ceiling. The painting has irregular sparse strokes in earthy colours, from beige and black to earthy browns and reds. Custom-made black conical pendant lights, made in collaboration with ATEH, hang down from the ceiling between each arch, while the furniture below is a mix of custom-made pieces from DVD Jaromerice and chairs from Vitra.
Furniture is a mix of custom-made pieces from DVD Jaromerice and chairs from Vitra
The arches follow the rows of the vines, and the floor-to-ceiling windows of the visitor centre offer a good view down the rows, as if the visitor is among the vines themselves. This provides a light-filled visitor centre that feels at the heart of the action. To the back of the plot, office and meeting rooms are more simply decorated, but enjoy the same clear views and concrete arches, with internal walls panelled in wood from DVD Jaromerice.
Floor to ceiling windows offer good views down the vine rows
Production happens in two halls of different heights. The first, and lower, of the two houses employee facilities and winemaking production, while the second, taller, hall facilitates the operations that require lower temperatures – including wine storage, the cellar and the wine press.
A wooden-decked ampitheatre holds cultural events and offers panoramic views over the surrounding area
External spaces include courtyards, as well as the wooden-decked amphitheatre set into the faux hill of the structure. This functions as a community space – aimed at being both a hub for locals as well as a draw to visitors to the region – holding cultural events that range from grape harvest celebrations to theatre performances. Railings help visitors to crest the hill and outline a viewing area along the top, from which panoramic views of the surrounding area can be enjoyed.
Office and meeting rooms are more simply decorated, but enjoy the same clear views and concrete arches, with internal walls panelled in wood from DVD Jaromerice
Chybik + Kristof has also recently designed the ‘House of Wine’ in Znojmo, converting a 19th-century brewery hall into a bar and tasting room where visitors can learn about Moravian wine culture. While this sensitive restoration, with a playful multi-platformed contemporary intervention inside, is worth a look itself, the Lahofer Winery project is on a much larger scale. Creating a new building, located right where the wine is produced, fully realises the architects’ exploration in designing for viticulture, with a design ‘deeply rooted in nature, and in the respect thereof’, explain founding architects Ondrej Chybík and Michal Krištof.
They continue: ‘At a time when culture and nature appear to be antagonistic forces, we envision a space reflective of the long-standing symbiosis between the two in the region – one that profoundly respects the environment on which it rests.’
Custom Lighting (Visitor Centre)
Collaboration with ATEH