New Renzo Piano Photography Pavilion at Château La Coste

New Renzo Piano Photography Pavilion at Château La Coste
Hiroshi Sugimoto – The Sea and The Mirror. Exhibition [Route De La Cride - Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade] France
metalocus, ÁNGEL BLANCO
New Renzo Piano Photography Pavilion at Château La Coste. Photograph © Stéphane Aboudaram / WE ARE CONTENT(S)
Château La Coste is a vineyard in the south of France that, in addition to its wine-making program, includes major works of contemporary art and architecture across its 500 acre campus.

The new building designed by RPBW rises in the heart of the grapevines of Château La Coste realm. This 285 sq. meters pavilion aims at both displaying art and preserving wine.

Due to the natural topography of the soil, it was decided to carve a 6 m. deep valley in the earth so as to fully incorporate the building into the vineyard. The pure glazed façades and roof contrast with the simple exposed concrete used for both the retaining and the exhibition walls. The partly buried building highlights the roof covered with a sail fastened to thin metal arches. These arches echo the graphical layout of the grapevines, enabling to integrate the sail into the vineyard. As a kite, the sail flies and lands, emphasizing all at once the lightness and horizontalness of the building.

Inside, sculpture and photography exhibitions are displayed into a 160 sqm gallery benefiting from natural light. The remaining surface is dedicated to wine preservation. Thus, the exhibition space is surrounded by wine cellars whose scale is evidenced by the alcoves at the entrance of the gallery.

From the reception building, the visitors will follow a path to the RPBW pavilion. At the end of the trail, a slight slope leads the visitors to the exhibition gallery’s entrance. At the back of the building, a space dedicated to sculpture is extended by a water mirror that largely reflects the full width of the pavilion.

Also, Château La Coste announced that the new Renzo Piano Photography Pavilion will be inaugurated with "The Sea and the Mirror", an exhibition of photography by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Curator Philip Larratt-Smith has made a careful selection of ten large-format works from the artist’s iconic Seascapes series to create a resonant and poetic presentation in dialogue with Piano’s architecture.

Hiroshi Sugimoto – The Sea and The Mirror

Exhibition 9th of May – 3rd of September
7 days a week 11am – 6pm

Hiroshi Sugimoto is one of the most important photographers of the past 40 years, celebrated for his technical virtuosity and his conceptual rigour in equal measure. Since 1980, Sugimoto has reinvented the genre of classical photography in what is perhaps his best-known series, the Seascapes. The concept behind the series is deceptively simple: the primordial landscape of sea and sky is photographed at various locations around the world. Sugimoto is a master craftsman, able to capture subtle shifts in light quality and a rich range of tonalities through the extreme perfection of his photographic prints. When installed in series, the cumulative effect of the Seascapes becomes even more powerful. The result is an open-ended and ongoing body of work that constitutes a veritable atlas of light and water.

Time is one of Sugimoto’s great subjects, and the artist has stated that he was inspired to make images that would have been recognizable to primitive man. In doing so, he holds up a mirror to our own identity in the present. In Larratt-Smith’s words: “by blurring the line between human history and eternity, representation and abstraction, Seascapes takes its place in the traditions of nature photography even as it achieves the status of a contemporary sublime.”

Sugimoto’s Seascapes take on special resonance in Piano’s Photography Pavilion. Situated amidst the vineyards that make up the rich domain of Château La Coste, the Photography Pavilion opens with a narrow corridor that widens out into a truncated triangular space. The play of the elements in Piano’s architecture meets the singular mixture of archaic and contemporary in Sugimoto’s art. The Sea and the Mirror represents a unique dialogue between two contemporary masters.

Architects Arquitectos
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Design team Equipo de diseño
J. Moolhuijzen, D.
Rat, M.van der Staay (partner and associates in charge) with K. Lim; O. Aubert, C. Colson and Y. Kyrkos (models)
Collaborators Colaboradores
Roof structure.- Arup Main structure,
MEP.- AECOM Local architect.- Tangram architectes Project & construction management.- Rainey best
Client Cliente
SCEA Château La Coste
Status Estado
Completed 2017
Main contractors
Tensile fabric structure.- Architen Land
rell Glazing.- Newsky Lighting.- iGuzzini


Renzo Piano was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1937 to a family of builders. He graduated Milan Polytechnic in 1964 and began to work with experimental light-weight structures and basic shelters. In 1971, he founded the Piano & Rogers studio and, together with Richard Rogers, won the competition for the Centre Pompidou in Paris. From the early 1970s to the 1990s, Piano collaborated with more