Château La Coste – winery and art center | Provence, France
Château La Coste is an art center, winery, and resort in Southern France, about 20 kilometers north of Aix-en-Provence.
The estate is renowned for its open-air exhibition of contemporary sculpture and its building complex designed by world-famous architects.
The estate we see today originated in 2003, when Irish art collector and real-estate entrepreneur Patrick McKillen bought the property, which was previously a rather ordinary winery, with a view to convert it into a center dedicated to “Wine, Art & Architecture”.
The estate is located in the commune of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, and can be reached by car in about half an hour from Aix-en-Provence via the D14 road.
Currently, the 320-acre estate comprises various art pavilions, cellars, a wine shop, a country house, an hotel, a SPA, two wine bars, and three restaurants, along with vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cinsault grapes.
Along with historical structures, Château La Coste features buildings designed by Tadao Ando (Art Center, Four Cubes pavilion, and Chapel, all completed in 2011), Renzo Piano (Art pavilion, 2017 more information available here), Frank O. Gehry (Music pavilion, 2008), and Jean Nouvel (Cellars, 2008).
A number of sculptures and art installations flank the estate’s footpaths, they include works by Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Michael Stipe, Alexander Calder, Sean Scully, Franz West, Tom Shannon, and Ai Weiwei, among others.
The program of activities of Chateau La Coste includes temporary exhibitions, art workshops, music concerts, and film screenings.
Just a suggestion: the site can be extremely hot and sunny in Summer; therefore wearing light clothes and a hat, and having a bottle of water to drink during the visit is highly recommended.
Château La Coste, general view with the sculptural installation Drop (2009) by Tom Shannon; photo © Inexhibit
The sculpture Calix Meus Inebrians (2009) by irish artist Guggi; © Inexhibit
Art Center – Tadao Ando
Château La Coste, views of the Art Center designed by Tadao Ando, the building accommodates the estate’s entrance lobby, various service spaces, a bookshop, and a cafe-restaurant. A large water mirror, on which the sculpture Crouching Spider 6695 (2003) by Louise Bourgeois is installed, roofs a covered parking; photos © Inexhibit, 2017
The Art Center with the work Mathematic Model 012 (2010) by Hiroshi Sugimoto; © Inexhibit
Art Center, views from north-west, and south-east; photos © Inexhibit
Pavilion “Four Cubes to contemplate our environment” – Tadao Ando
The timber pavilion designed by Tadao Ando between 2008 and 2011 and situated in a small grove accommodates a glass and light installation by Ando himself; photos © Inexhibit
Music Pavilion – Frank O. Gehry
Eminently deconstructivist style, the Music Pavilion was designed by Frank O. Gehry in 2008; photos © Inexhibit
Art pavilion – Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Completed in 2017, the Art pavilion designed by Renzo Piano is the latest addition to the Château La Coste estate; you can find here a detailed article on Piano’s pavilion
Wine Cellars – Jean Nouvel
Built in 2008, the two hangar-shaped cellars designed by Jean Nouvel contains the wine-making machinery of Château La Coste; photos © Inexhibit