In recent years, various wine producers have given their sites and visitor centres additional attractiveness and international attention with selected architecture. The most recent example of this kind can be found in Sonoma, California: In august 2022, the Donum Estate, one of the leading California Pinot Noir producers, inaugurated the so-called Vertical Panorama Pavilion. The space dedicated to tasting wine was designed by the Berlin-based Studio Other Spaces, founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann in 2014. Reflecting the shared interest in spatial experimentation of the two authors, their design resembles a canopy rather than a closed building. Under a roof of light and colour, the pavilion provides a scenic panoramic view of the San Pablo Bay, the vineyards and The Donum Collection, comprising some 50 works of site specific sculptures and works of art.
As the commissioners explain, the design of the building was inspired by the history of circular calendars. The conical canopy is centered on a northern oriented oculus and glazed with 832 colored laminated glass panels depicting yearly averages of the four meteorological parameters on the site – solar radiance, wind intensity, temperature, and humidity. Or, as the designers add: “The specific design elements are abstractions of components taken from a vertical slice through the pavilion’s location on the Estate. The pavilion maps out the surrounding ephemera – the soil, vegetation, wind, sun, atmosphere, and rain – and incorporates these into the colorful canopy.” The glass panels consist of 24 colors in variations of translucent and transparent hues, which resonate colors of the local environment in the Sonoma Valley. The new pavilion will host wine tasting and other hospitality events as part of the large estate which also includes production facilities and, among other art works, a white cube conservation space that houses ‘Crouching Spider’ by Louise Bourgeois.