Devon Hill

A winery is a essentially a barn filled with high-technology – a rough farm building filled with expensive, finely-wrought equipment. We looked at traditional Cape agricultural buildings and played on the characteristics of this type by juxtaposing the mass of heavy masonry walls with the lightweight, high-tech machinery of wine production. The steel fermentation tanks are of a different scale to almost any other type of machinery, to the extent that they are almost buildings within a building. The catwalks become elevated streets; the offices with glazed internal windows like apartments overlooking the traffic of wine production. Internal views and elevations are necessarily preserved to maintain a sense of order and legibility. Openings in the masonry have been kept small per tradition; the exception is a large window on the South facade of the building to take advantage of the view as well as allowing views into the winery. The roof trusses are light-weight steel and a roof monitor along the centre of the fermentation hall bounces south light into the building. The exterior is finished with a very pale ocre-tinted plaster, with moulded cornices and architraves. These finishing elements have helped the building to weather well; the subtleties of line and shadow mitigate the mass and bulk imposed by the structure on the landscape.