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Lahofer Winery Chybik Kristof Photo by: Alex Shoots Buildings

Lahofer Winery – A Hidden Moravian Gem

Nestled in the Moravian countryside, the design of the Lahofer Winery brings together a longstanding wine tradition and contemporary wine-making processes.

Housing a visitor centre, tasting room and production facilities, the structure immerses itself in the landscape, achieving a subtle symbiosis with the surrounding vines.

The architects Ondrej Chybík and Michal Krištof explain: “The design of the Lahofer Winery is deeply rooted in nature and the respect for it. At a time when culture and nature appear to be antagonistic forces, we have envisioned a space reflecting the longstanding symbiosis between the two in the region; one that respects the environment on which it is built.”

“The structure unfolds into the native terrain and immerses itself into the surrounding vine rows, thereby preserving the essence and integrity of both soil and culture. Moving beyond a purely productive viewpoint, we prioritized the visitor experience, by making the roof a public space open to local and international visitors: an experience essential to the understanding and appreciation of the wine.”

Chybik+ Kristof Architects & Urban Designers have completed construction of the Lahofer Winery in the Czech Republic in 2020. Reflective of modern wine-making processes, the building brings together three interconnected structures: a wine-making facility, the winery’s administrative base, and a visitor centre and adjoining tasting room.

Emulating archetypal wine cellars of the region, the vault of the winery rests on a grid of arched beams. Acting as a mirror of this shape, an undulating roof serves as an amphitheatre for cultural events open to both locals and visitors, merging the winery into the ground on which it rests.

The design idea found its roots in the legacy of the Lahofer Winery. This is grounded in cultural heritage and a profound respect for the natural environment. Responding to Moravia’s topography and architectural tradition, rooted in the culture of wine, the architects conceived a design in symbiosis with the region’s landscape.

Reminiscent of the region’s characteristic arched wine cellars, a colonnade of vaulted beams frames the interior space into its storied curve. On the exterior, draping the winery, an undulant roof acts as an inclined open-air amphitheatre and cultural venue. Lightening the volume of the building as it rests on the fertile soil, there are three separate spaces below, each attributed with a distinct function.

The first lower hall centralizes the winemaking and employee quarters, while the second allows for operations that require lower temperatures, such as the wine press, the cellar, and the wine store. The varying heights of the interior spaces, emulating the terrain, allow for the alignment of corresponding functional exterior courtyards. While one courtyard serves as the operational area, centralszing logistic and production presses, the other holds the amphitheatre, extending sweeping views of the landscape.

The space under the concave roof of the amphitheatre unfolds into a vast cellar, embracing the design of archetypal Czech wineries defined by the exposed rib construction of the arches. Each reinforced concrete arch is individually designed to fit a specific angle of the ceiling, while the distance between the arches is determined by the space between the vine rows. Each module rises from a vine row and runs through the space, achieving visual symmetry and guiding the viewer’s gaze across the grapevines.

Enclosed in a glass façade and facing south, the Lahofer Winery visitor centre draws abundant light as the windows function as concealed separation from the exterior vine rows. The visitor centre invites visitors to fully experience the wine production in the barrique cellar, made of wood, concrete and glass, and adjoining tasting room.

A large-scale mural painting by Czech contemporary artist Patrik Hábl covers the entire ceiling area. Its tampered, irregular, and sparse strokes, ranging from earthy reds and blacks to terroir-reminiscent browns and beiges, echo the variations of the soil found at Lahofer Winery and its weightlessness leaving its timeless markings on the walls.