Case Study -
Wine Cellar Design for a Medieval Hall Posted in Aug 2016 by Andrew Petherick
Bespoke wine cellar design takes on many forms. There are some important design practicalities to consider, regardless of what you want your wine cellar to look like.
This case study oversees a current Artichoke wine cellar design commission. This particular design project is for a Grade II* listed timber framed medieval country manor. We have chosen this project above other wine rooms and wine cellars we are designing and making because by it’s nature, the architecture of a medieval house is particularly challenging to design into, particularly a wine cellar with a vaulted ceiling.
WINE CELLAR – SURVEY OF EXISTING SPACE
The video shows Artichoke’s initial point cloud laser survey of the wine cellar space. Point cloud surveying allows us to capture a digital cloud of the geometry of the existing wine room to an extremely accurate level, allowing us to design furniture which takes into account all of the eccentricities of the room’s shape. As you will see, the room is complex to design in to, and it is crucial to ensure we have a completely accurate laser model to work from before we start design.
WINE CELLAR DESIGN QUESTIONS
There are a number of questions we always discuss with clients before we start to design their wine cellar or wine room:
Where is the location of the wine cellar? It is important to ensure there is no direct sunlight.
What are the client’s motivations for having a wine cellar? Do they intend to entertain friends in it, is it to show off their collection or is it purely for storage? This will effect whether the room has a sink (and drainage), storage for wine glasses and so on.
What are their motivations for collecting wine? Is the wine to lay-down for drinking, or is it for investment purposes? This will have an effect on the type of storage we design, as wine kept in its original cases can fetch a higher price. We will always try to find out what the ratio is between wine for drinking and wine for investing.
How large is their wine collection? If it is large, then how to they manage their wine cellar inventory? With software or a log-book? Some wine management programmes are cloud-based which means that wi-fi may be needed with the space.
What is the ambient temperature of the existing wine cellar space throughout the year? Ideally it should be 13 degrees centigrade constantly. Assuming it is not, a mechanical control method needs to be designed in to keep it there. The same applies to relative humidity which should be kept at a constant 60%. It is the combination of these heat and humidity levels that encourage the wine to mature more slowly, minimise mould growth on the labels (which effects the value) and to prevent the corks from drying out.
What type of wine do they store, and in what size bottles? This will have a bearing on the type of wine rack we design for the space.
Do they store Champagne and how many bottles do they have? Contrary to popular belief Champagne should not be stored upright unless you are planning to drink it with two weeks or purchase.
How is the client planning on labelling their wine on the shelf?
What lighting is needed? Ensure low heat lighting is used. LED is perfect.
How is the space to be secured? This is important for two reasons. Firstly the door should have a decent seal on it to make humidity and heat control easier. Secondly, we have one or two tales of expensive wines being used for the family bolognese in error!