May 19, 2022
In Austria, Destilat Design Studio Transforms a Dilapidated Estate into a Chic Home and Winery
“The aim was to restore [the main house to its] original state, make history visible, and connect it with something new in an understated way,” Weimer says.
Two elongated gabled houses—one of which is a restored original highlighted by washed bricks—form the winemaking facility’s outer shell. The historic building, which stores the wine, has been expanded to include a new building for delivery and production.
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The connecting element of the two buildings is a steel and glass construction that tapers towards the inner courtyard. It houses the tasting room, a cube of black steel that’s suspended from the ceiling.
The interior is awash in subtle shades of gray and comprises a vaulted cellar, a loft-like reception area featuring exposed concrete, a kitchen in aged spruce, and an office. Polished cement, anthracite-colored fiber cement, and raw steel complete mix of historic and modern materials.
Opposite the commercial buildings, connected underground by a newly created corridor, the residential building exudes charm befitting its historic past.
Weimer clearly remembers the moment he saw the mansion for the first time. “The structure of the building was catastrophic. The ceilings and cross vaults had collapsed, the roof structure was rotten, and it rained in. It was imperative to bring this old substance back to its former glory,” he says.
After the building was gutted and dried out, the roof was recovered with period-correct, salvaged tiles. The facade was left mostly unchanged, supplemented only by balconies on the top floor, while the interior was completely re-done.
The revitalization focused on authentic construction materials and handcraft techniques. Antique herringbone, panel parquet, and old, tumbled travertine was laid on the floors. Based on the nuances of the exposed frescoes, experts painted the walls and ceilings with restrained colors using the traditional brush-on techniques.
The original box-type windows have been restored and fitted with glass that diffuses light but gives a blurred, indistinct view to give an appearance of age.
In addition to antique finds for the interior, Weimer also tracked down an old, already dismantled village well in Upper Austria, which was rebuilt as the center between the winery and the house and connected to a water supply. “As the clients also hail from the region of Upper Austria, it was a nice touch that we were able to bring a piece of home into the project,” Weimer concludes.
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