THE CITE DES VINS IN MACON
THE SOUL OF THE SOUTHERN BOURGOGNE
Between the Côte Chalonnaise and the Rock of Solutré, the hillsides of the Mâconnais are bordered by the Saône and Grosne rivers and stretch across some 40km. They offer a succession of wooded hilltops and little valleys that are perfect for growing vines. Indeed, vines have been grown here since Roman times, and winegrowing really took off thanks to the powerful abbeys of Cluny and Tournus. Farther south, the hills give way to a grandiose landscape beneath monumental rocks, including those of Vergisson and Solutré. The vines plunge their roots into the slopes wherever the soil and sunshine allows.
Serenaded by 19th century poet Lamartine who was born in the city, Mâcon has maintained powerful winegrowing traditions with a warm and welcoming approach.
IN MACON, ON THE BANKS OF THE SAONE
Set within the premises of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), the Cité in Mâcon will benefit from being housed inside a well-known building with established visibility. A redevelopment of the site is planned in order to create spaces that are adapted to all the future services offered by the Cité.
The Cité des vins in Mâcon will feature the Bourgogne region but will also focus on the specificities of the vineyards of southern Bourgogne, in the Saône et Loire region.
Located on the banks of the Saône, it is at the heart of an area where tourism is key to economic development. It will be a real gateway and allow visitors from all over the world to enrich their understanding of Bourgogne wines and more precisely of those of the Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise.
THE ARCHITECTURAL APPROACH
RBC Architecture and ACL Associés has been selected to handle this ambitious project.
A POWERFUL SYMBOL AND CURVED SHAPES
RBC Architecture’s project involves making a clean break with what is already there by designing a building that has a powerful symbol that is clearly visible from the avenue.
The extension will be made up of curved shapes inspired by ammonites, those fossils common in the region’s clay-limestone soils and will have a single entrance. The Cité will be easily identifiable by visitors thanks to a tower inspired by the screw on a wooden wine press.
This 17-meter-high totem will be an attraction in itself, with a viewing platform offering exceptional panoramas over the River Saône and part of the town.
A LIGHT-FILLED, ALMOST TRANSPARENT BUILDING
Fluidity, transparency, openness, and light will guide the architectural approach to the Cité in Mâcon.
The building will be like a showcase that is open, light-filled, and welcoming on the outside, but also in terms of the spaces between each element, which will be fluid and open for better flow.
The building will become a gateway to discovering the wines of the Bourgogne region, an ambassador for the region and the symbol of a city.
THE SCENOGRAPHIC APPROACH
The Studio Adeline Rispal will also manage the stage design of the Cité in Mâcon.
In this unique and innovative place, which will focus on the sensory experience, visitors will be able to discover the richness, variety and subtlety of Bourgogne wines.
Three emotional experiences will guide this experience:
- Experience: Comprehend and learn through experience
- Understand: Share the process of understanding rather than learning in an isolated way
- Taste: Educate one’s own taste and appreciate different flavors
The intellectual explanation gives way to real experiences to make the diversity of Bourgogne wines more tangible. This is not simply a patchwork of plots or Climats.
As in Chablis, visitors will understand that wine is all about time in all its guises and on all its scales (civilization, heritage, geology, vinification, conviviality, and passion).
The scenographic approach will be organized around three key elements that will overlap:
- A unique universe of material strata to touch and immaterial ones to admire and to listen to, like an immersive landscape
- A landscape of words to make the Climats understandable and allow visitors to become intoxicated with the language of wine
- A sound environment with natural sound effects and melodies to reinforce the sensation of immersion
The visitor’s every sense will be required, with tactile, visual, olfactory, and acoustic sensations galore.
A layered approach to the scenography will create a new horizontal landscape in the visitor experience and will offer a series of contrasting light-filled spaces.
Visitors will immerse themselves down through the strata, constructing their own experience of wine.