Ara Vineyard

The Dart, named for the dynamic shape of its roof, is a stand-alone sculptural structure which stands nine metres above the surrounding vines and is clearly visible from across the vineyard.

The Dart, named for the dynamic shape of its roof, is a stand-alone sculptural structure which stands nine metres above the surrounding vines and is clearly visible from across the vineyard.

Over a period of several years, the Winegrowers of Ara have been working with Warren and Mahoney (and others) to develop a holistic master plan for their very special vineyard. The vineyard lies on a river terrace at the confluence of Marlborough‚Äôs Wairau and Waihopi rivers, and included in the master plan are a number of new buildings.  The first of these is The Dart. 

Named for the dynamic shape of its roof, this stand-alone sculptural structure stands nine metres above the surrounding vines and is clearly visible from across the vineyard.   

The highly distinctive design seeks to provide a counterpoint to the otherwise unrelenting expansiveness of the 1,600 hectare river terrace.  And the relationship between architecture and the surrounding landscape is further emphasised by the use of locally-sourced natural materials wherever possible. 

The Dart was designed with two distinct purposes in mind.  First, it needed to be an oasis, an indoor-outdoor place for staff to rest, socialise, and plan together as a team.  And, second, it needed to be a storehouse and workshop.  Ordinarily, these very different needs might call for very different architectural responses.  But the simple unified programme answers both parts of the brief with one integrated structure and form, creating a new and unique typology of vineyard building.

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