Minimalist in design yet enigmatic in perception, the Dominus winery was completed in 1997 by the Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. Gabions (filled with local basalt rocks) had never before been used in building construction and serve a practical function as insulation against the extreme temperatures of the Napa Valley. From afar, the structure imperceptibly blends into the landscape, an intentional effect, underscoring the primacy of the vineyard. The winery was Herzog and de Meuron’s first project outside of Europe.
Since then, they have designed numerous renowned buildings, including the Tate Modern (London), the Prada boutique (Tokyo), the de Young Museum (San Francisco), the “Bird’s Nest” stadium (Beijing), and the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg). In 2001, they were awarded the Pritzker Prize, contemporary architecture’s highest award.
More recently, the architects have designed a new winery for our Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, Château Bélair-Monange.