No detail was overlooked when it came to creating an innovative venue in a Marlborough vineyard — from its creative design, to its welcoming interior that combines relaxed hospitality with sophisticated electrical solutions.
The Vineyard Pavilion was built for Constellation Brands NZ, one of New Zealand's largest wine companies and the country's largest exporter of New Zealand wine, with its brands Kim Crawford and Nobilo.
Hosting distributors, sales people and affiliates is a core component of its business, and the company's International Customer Liaison, Felicity Nelson, says there was a need for a space that could showcase the Marlborough vineyard and the Kim Crawford brand in a striking way. Constellation Brands also wanted energy-saving elements as the Pavilion would need to run 'off-the-grid', powered by a gas generator.
Nelson engaged Special Projects; their answer was a shipping container with a difference. From the outside, the container looks weathered and forgotten, as though left to rust. Flanked by two decks, the clue that it somehow opens comes from two large inset steel arcs. The container walls then pivot out on large steel wheels that track along the arcs, revealing an interior dining area and tasting space.
With views out to the surrounding vineyard lush and green, Corban Walls of Special Projects says they chose a moodier look inside. Such dramatic interior tones called for fittings to match, as Special Projects wanted the space to be open, with nothing hidden away. "Obviously, we wanted to go with appliances and electrical fixtures that were very aesthetically pleasing — that's why we selected the Saturn Horizon range," explains Walls. "It's got a brushed metal face and throughout the structure we've used raw black steel in a lot of places, and having that brushed black face emulated that colour really well."
Other solutions for energy saving at the venue included LED dimmers, motion sensors to turn lights on and off automatically in the bathrooms, and a time delay device to bring power on at the pavilion in stages from its gas generator, and to prevent it overloading on start-up. All these elements combine to help create a space that is unexpected and striking, while also being functional.
For the team at Special Projects, it ranks as a favourite. "I think this is probably our best work," says Walls. "In terms of creativity, we went all out on it. The client was so good in allowing us to do what we thought was best that we didn't compromise on anything."