Studio Other Spaces’ wine tasting pavilion debuts in Sonoma County

California pinot noir heavyweight The Donum Estate has inaugurated the polychromatic glass panel­–topped Vertical Panorama Pavilion at its sprawling vineyard-slash-sculpture park in Sonoma County’s Carneros AVA (American Viticultural Area). The “bespoke architectural experience” was designed by Studio Other Spaces, a Berlin-based office founded in 2014 by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and architect/longtime collaborator Sebastian Behmann.

Realized atop a small hill offering big views of the vineyards, San Pablo Bay, and beyond, the pavilion is described as a “synergy of art and architecture that manifests Studio Other Spaces’ vision of designing public spaces through interdisciplinary and experimental methodologies.” First announced last September, the conical canopy structure serves as a dedicated space for wine tastings and other hospitality-related events held at The Donum Estate, which is owned by the Hong Kong–based art collectors Mei and Allan Warburg.

“This pavilion perfectly blends our passions between wine, nature and art, design, and architecture,” said Mei and Allan Warburg in a statement. “It is an achievement of our continuous effort to enhance the sensorial discovery of sight, sound, and scent experiences for all our guests.”

© Vertical Panorama Pavilion at the Donum Estate, 2022, Studio Other Spaces – Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann. (Photo: Adam Potts)

Designed to enable a “contextual and unique encounter between senses and surroundings,” Vertical Panorama Pavilion joins a handful of other architectural works at the 200-acre estate including the MH Architects–designed Donum Home (revamped last year by Danish designer David Thulstrup) and a white-cube conservation facility that houses Crouching Spider by Louise Bourgeois (a.k.a. Spider House). Joining Crouching Spider at The Donum Estate are over 50 works of art—including a bevy of site-specific, open-air installations—created by the likes of Ai Weiwei, Doug Aitken, Keith Haring, Lynda Benglis, Subodh Gupta, Ghada Amer, and a host of other international artists. Just last year, four works by Tracey Emin, Jeppe Hein, Robert Indiana, and Ugo Rondinone joined the Donum Collection, which ranks as one of the largest publicly accessible private sculpture collections in the world.

Straddling art and architecture, the circular calendar-inspired Vertical Panorama Pavilion features a northern-oriented oculus and is clad in 832 laminated recycled glass panels that span 24 colors in transparent and translucent hues; per a press statement unveiling the completed pavilion, these colors represent the “yearly averages of the four meteorological parameters” of the Estate: solar radiance, wind intensity, temperature, and humidity. As previously noted by AN, the kaleidoscopic pavilion is somewhat akin to Eliasson’s Your rainbow panorama albeit on a smaller, self-contained scale and with a terroir-specific twist.

© Vertical Panorama Pavilion at the Donum Estate, 2022, Studio Other Spaces – Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann. (Photo: Adam Potts)

Vertical Panorama Pavilion is a hospitable space, which celebrates the exceptional wine at Donum and the microclimates that created it. The specific design elements are abstractions of components taken from a vertical slice through the pavilion’s location on the Estate,” elaborated Eliasson and Behmann. “The pavilion maps out the surrounding ephemera – the soil, vegetation, wind, sun, atmosphere, and rain – and incorporates these into the colorful canopy, reflecting the wine’s unique signature.”

For those whose future travel plans include Sonoma, more details on visiting The Donum Estate for a day of wine swirling and art viewing  can be found here.

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