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Philippe Starck to design Carmes Haut-Brion winery

French designer Philippe Starck is to design a new winery, barrel cellars and reception area at Chateau Carmes Haut-Brion in Pessac-Leognan.

This will be the first winery project for the designer (pictured), who has turned his hand to everything from lamps to motorcycles and is best known for his work on hotels such as MamaShelter in Paris and the Royalton in New York, and products such as the transparent Kartell chairs. Perhaps his most iconic product is Alessi‘s futuristic tripod lemon squeezer.

Chateau Carmes Haut-Brion (also pictured) was bought by Patrice Pichet of Groupe Pichet in 2010, and was enlarged last year. The expansion of the vineyard necessitated a new cellar, although the new vines will not be going into Carmes Haut-Brion, but into a new wine, Les Clos de Carmes Haut-Brion.

Starck will be working alongside renowned vineyard architect Luc-Arsène Henry, whose firm has recently completed projects for the AXA-owned chateaux Petit Village and Pichon Baron. It is not their first time working together: the pair collaborated in 1999 on a project for the control tower at Bordeaux airport.

‘Starck will be working on both the conception and realization of the new buildings,’ Les Carmes director Guillaume Pouthier told Decanter.com. ‘We are choosing such an iconic designer to ensure that we create something truly original, where visitors will have a real sense of an innovative visit, but this will also be a serious working cellar.’

The entrance to the walled estate has recently been moved to a new location on rue des Carmes, meaning that this is now the only Bordeaux wine property with a city centre 33000 postcode. ‘The new cellars and reception centre will be visible from this new entrance,’ said Pouthier. ‘We want to increase the visibility of the estate, but also ensure that we are open to the residents of Bordeaux, and seen as part of the city.’

The Parisian-born Starck has been working on a number of Bordeaux projects recently. He is due to open a MamaShelter hotel in Bordeaux later this year, and this month his new urban bicycle Le Pibal goes on display in the city.

Work will begin on the Carmes Haut-Brion project in summer 2013, and should be finished by harvest 2014.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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