Spier Estate

Name Spier Estate
Client Spier Winery
Location Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands
Status Unbuilt, 2008

The new centre will bring together a range of activities at the entrance to Spier which are currently dispersed throughout the estate. The new centre seeks to establish an architectural character for a wine estate which over the years has been added to in a fairly ad-hoc fashion. To do this, the new buildings will connect to the agricultural rural landscape of the area, as well as dig back into the past – all this needs to be achieved with a contemporary set of forms.

The Wine Centre & Welcome Centre are treated as two separate buildings joined by a courtyard or werf. The form of the two buildings is redolent of the thin, tall agricultural sheds found in the area. The two buildings are joined by a thick wall on three sides. The fourth side is left to form the courtyard werf. The space between the wall and the sheds will accommodate services, storage and a gallery.

A one-and-a-half metre fall across the site is dealt with by cutting the new courtyard into the slope of the land. This results in the appearance of a low, werf-like wall topped by two thin, shed-like roofs from the road entrance. This appearance is not unlike that of the typical werf wall surrounding the traditional courtyard.

In keeping with Spier’s commitment to sustainability, the new buildings will demonstrate in the clearest way possible an approach to sustainable building, energy conservation and recycling.