DCN ARCHIVES

February 7, 2006

Fine wine comes with fine design, architect discovers

Architects team up on book

Toronto architect Sean Stanwick doesn’t consider himself a connoisseur of the grape.

Sean Stanwick

But the associate in Farrow Partnership Architects Inc. rapidly is acquiring an appreciation for quality wines after co-writing the book Wine by Design, celebrating the alignment the wine industry is making with design.

Stanwick and the publishing initiative’s project manager, Jennifer Flores, are intent on obtaining a bottle “from each and every” of the 30 wineries featured in the book. Two are from Canada.

“Some (of the wines) are unavailable through the LCBO so we are using friends, family and whatever means necessary to fill the collection,” Stanwick said. “Some are very expensive. We are saving these for a special occasion.”

The 224-page hardcover book highlights designs for wineries and spaces for wine throughout the world, including Australia, Chile, United States, Canada and Europe.

Architectural drawings and floor plans are included.

The two featured Canadian wineries, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg and Frank Gehry’s Le Clos Jordanne, are both in the Niagara Peninsula.

Stanwick, who wrote the book for Wiley in collaboration with Loraine Fowlow, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Calgary and his master’s degree thesis adviser, said the project “literally had its origins in a vineyard.

“Loraine and I were invited to an event at the site of Le Clos Jordanne,” he said. “We immediately realized the potential of this (book) project. We discussed it with (Jackson-Triggs co-founder) Don Triggs. Motivated by his enthusiasm, we did some research and pitched the idea to our editors.”

As part of their research, the authors toured Niagara-area wineries, and talked with a number of architects, winery owners and vintners “so that we could learn all that we could about the process of design and its relationship to winemaking.”

Fowlow had a one-on-one meeting in California with Toronto-born and Los Angeles–based superstar architect Gehry.

“It was a very exciting process of learning about wine, wine production and methods and also about the approach/interpretation of the architecture itself, particularly since the basic process of winemaking is essentially the same around the world,” Stanwick said.

Featured wineries were chosen “mostly on the basis of architectural appeal, design innovation and notoriety of the architects.”

“It appears as if the winery is becoming the must-have, cachet item in any aspiring architect’s portfolio,” said Stanwick.

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