Sydney has its opera house, Bilbao its Guggenheim and, now, Bordeaux will have its very own emblematic contemporary monument to epitomize the region’s flagship product, is set to open its doors come 2 June 2016.
A high tech museum devoted to global wine culture is aimed at attracting tourists—particularly millennials—to the historic wine region. The ambitious projects goal is to make visitors think of wine in a whole new way while promoting both France and its winemaking heritage.
This vast glass tower will be located at the entrance to the city on the banks of the Garonne, in the up-and-coming wet dock district. With its imaginative modern design, the Cité du Vin is sure to delight tourists and wine lovers in 2016.
La Cité du Vin’s design by Parisian architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières of XTU agency is highly symbolic of its surroundings (the duo previously designed the striking wooden lattice structure that was the French Pavilion in Expo Milano 2015).
From echoing the eternal ebb and flow of the river Garonne, to the swirl of wine in glass, the sensual form of the sculptural building sees it encased in a kaleidoscopic outer gold sheath comprising 900 perforated glass panels and 2,500 iridescent custom-printed aluminium panels — evoking the old charm of the city’s neo classical golden limestone façades.
Spread over ten floors, the contoured structure is clearly designed to awe. 128 wooden spines encircle its soaring tower, which will see the structure culminate in a lofty height of 55 meters above ground. On the seventh floor, a restaurant will come with panoramic views, as well as a menu of cuisine inspired by the world of wine.
Overlooking the river Garonne is the 35-meter high viewing platform on the eighth floor, where visitors can partake in a glass of vino of their choice from an international wine selection, while discovering the city of Bordeaux, the river and vineyards from a new birds-eye perspective. That’s not all, though: the tower will also come with specially installed viewfinders pointed at different wine regions, allowing visitors to look out at the world’s greatest vineyards, right from their vantage point at the La Cité du Vin.
Enter the premises into the exhibition space, and visitors will be able to take their wine discovery journey into the 13,350 square meter area any way they like – literally.
Fueled by technologies such as 3D imagery, moving décors and olfactory design, this permanent exhibit will come to life in its dedicated 3,000 square meters of space; 20 themed areas will come with exhibits ranging from interactive globes where visitors can discover the spread of grape vines across the entire planet, to a film that tells the saga of how wine producing sparked the rise of Bordeaux as an international port city.
Visitors will also be equipped with individual handset guides for a very personal guided experience, whichever way they wander; the device can pick up its wearer’s position within the exhibition and set off contextual multimedia content in real time. For those who are digitally challenged, human guides will also be at hand to lead the way.