Wine Cabinets

Wine Cabinets

A proper walk-in wine cellar with an air-tight shell and a well-maintained temperature and humidity control system is the best place for wine to rest comfortably until the day of its celebration. Although there are a range of possibilities to realise a walk-in wine cellar in suprisingly small sizes, in certain cases wine cabinets are still needed. For such cases, FWC also has the flexibility to offer a range of custom- designed and beautifully made wine cabinets.

FWC wine cabinets are equipped with purpose built wine cabinet air conditioners which usually are located directly on the top of the cabinet enclosure. Due to the small thermal mass inside a wine cabinet, achieveing temperature stability inside a wine cabinet can be a challenge. In order to make sure that the wines are kept under the right conditions on a constant basis, FWC wine cabinets are furnished with sensors at various points of the cabinet enclosure. These sensors collect, store and communicate data about the temperature and humidty levels inside and the air conditioner units are regulated accordingly. The shell of the cabinet must be completely air-tight for this sensitive equipment to keep up with the job and to also to avoid any future problems such as damaging condensation.

The exterior of FWC wine cabinets look like jewellery cases with their exquisite finishes and charming lighting design. Every cabinet door has a lock and a pull-bar matching the applied finish in various metals or natural wood. The three- rod bottle displays which feature integrated label lighting come in different metal finishes as well.

A variant of the standard wine cabinet by FWC – “The Wine Cabinet with Infinity Effect” – was developed in 2013 to celebrate FWC’s 10th year in business. As the name suggests, the Wine Cabinet with Infinity Effect is built using several layers of mirrors which create the illusion of an infinite cabinet space when combined with a certain lighting system inside.

Multiple reflections of the wine bottles inside expand the interior of the cabinet, so to say, towards infinity. A world- wide patent application for this design is currently in process.

We thank our whole team for their contagious enthusiasm, firm determination, sensible creativity, and endless efforts.

Collective Cellars

Collective Cellars

In recent years, many up-scale residential projects have begun to provide their residents various services in order to differentiate themselves in the market.

Collective wine cellars have recently become a leader amongst these services. As wine gains more popularity each day, more and more people are eager to have a wine cellar of their own. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to reserve enough room in an urban setting to realise a walk-in wine cellar in each dwelling. Developers’ response to this demand has been the collective wine cellar which is a very efficient, energy-conscious and prestigious solution to the problem.

A collective wine cellar is, in fact, many personal cellar units in one ‘grouped’ cellar space. While each individual unit is secure, and only accessible to its owner, it is not totally closed off and it allows air to circulate amongst the wine bottles.

Because of its vast volume, the conditioned air in the main wine cellar space can more easily remain constant while consuming less energy.

The wine cellar in the Trump Towers Istanbul is the first collective wine cellar and currently the largest wine cellar in Turkey. In a climate controlled area of 255 m2 there is a total capacity of 16,800 bottles which are kept in 80-bottle, lockable individual units. The cellar is equipped with a wine cellar management system which is accessible via internet and enables the residents to view the details of their collection. Furthermore, the cellar area is surveyed 24 hours a day, via CCTV cameras and the building’s central automation system, to make sure that the valuable wine collections are safe and always kept under the right climatic conditions.


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Industrial Cellars

Industrial Cellars

For businesses running big operations and wanting to buy and stock large amounts of wine, FWC is introducing industrial wine cellars to be built back-of-house with dimensions and detailing suitable for heavy-duty operations. Needless to say, industrial cellars, too, meet all requirements of a proper wine cellar with the right temperature and humidity conditions inside. Moreover, temperature and humidity can be constantly monitored through a central automation system and a stock management system is installed to keep track of all operations.

When storing large quantities of wine, one is more likely to have full cases of the same wine. This makes individual bottle storage superfluous. The bottles can be stored in cases of 6 or 12. However, it is unpractical most of the time to keep the wines in their original cases for the cases vary greatly in shape and size thus are difficult to organise. A modular, stackable system of specially designed polycarbonate cases are very convenient to keep these wines orderly and accessible at all times. Each case can be labeled individually to have things even more organised. Between each row of these stacked wine case blocks, there is enough space allowed for the operation of a small forklift and reserve space for incoming wine.


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Arts & Crafts

wine storage wood craftsmen

It is not only the wood craftsmen who bestow each wine cellar with a spirit of its own, but also artists processing glass like lacework, breathing life into cold metal, embellishing lives with handmade ceramic panels and floor ceramics. FWC is thankful to all its associate artists for their contributions.

Passionate and intelligent design, a production process
that involves intensive craftsmanship at every stage, true excitement for the job, and seven months of hard work have created another one of FWC’s masterpieces. It all began with a meeting with the client who was determined and specific about what he wanted and also communicated this very clearly.

Our client’s expressed appreciation of the finished wine cellar is the true evidence that all his wishes and desires regarding the wine cellar have been fulfilled. Access to this underground wine cellar is through a tunnel from the living room of the Bosphorus seaway mansion. At the very entrance of the wine cellar, the words about wine by Ernest Hemingway are written on the floor with black marble letters embedded in white marble. The U-shaped wine cellar where 2,000 bottles of rare and fine wine rest, is situated around the domed tasting area.

All lighting, air conditioning and music systems are controlled through a tablet computer where also the wine management system is installed. In this state- of-the-art wine cellar, FWC is able to monitor and adjust the settings of these systems remotely. This cellar is a magnificent blend of sophisticated design, finest hand crafts, materials and high-tech installations.

As one of the world’s most important wine consuming countries, Hong Kong is home to many enthusiastic wine consumers and collectors, many of which are aware of the significance of owning an artfully designed and built wine cellar for enjoying their wine alone, or with company, in the privacy of their own homes. The owner of this cellar is definitely one of those wine enthusiasts for he did not only allocate two whole rooms of his luxury apartment on well-known HoManTin Hill, but also put effort into furnishing them with the best equipment and materials for a fulfilling result. This is where Focus Wine Cellars came into the picture as one of world’s leading wine cellar specialist and transformed these two rooms into a stunning wine cellar surely to be shared and cherished for years to come.

Inspired by these two rooms, the cellar is organised as a narrative of spaces flowing one into the other, rather than a singular and centric cellar. From the entrance door to the wine safe at the end, the visitors are led and amazed at every step by intricate details, such as the polished natural tree trunk, custom woven drapery with grape figures, antique copper countertop, hand- forged iron and sliding doors just to name a few.

Another one of the criteria shaping this wine cellar and its display variety was the wine consuming habits of the owner. Since he was keen to purchase and display Magnum and Double Magnum bottles intensively, the regular individual display units needed to be varied by flexible full display units. The top item designed and built for this purpose is the soft white leather display which allows full display of 35 Magnum bottles at eye level. Crowning this, is the flashy CNC-cut glass displays backed by adjustable LED lights. Furthermore, all drawers are equipped with adjustable rod shelving that can be easily adjusted to accommodate different sizes of bottles.

One of the largest and most prestigious wine cellars by FWC is the wine cellar built for the residence of a Head
of State in Asia. When a cellar needs to be an element of prestige, the amount and quality of ornaments involved becomes crucial. FWC collaborates in such cases with world renowned artists and craftsmen. The wine barrel head above the cascade unit, for instance, is carved and painted by an artist in California who does his work directly in the vineyards there. Some of the ornamentation is especially designed for this wine cellar by FWC, such as the bronze cast plates above the arched passages which are the only two of two made by a famed sculpturer.

The vine leaf decoration on the glazing is hand-made by a famous glass artist who uses an unequaled etching technique. These glass etchings are three-dimensional and so delicate that the glass becomes as thin as 1 mm in parts. On the entrance façade, the wine box panels are provided by an FWC business partner in Canada and arranged by FWC. The cellar door is decorated with hand carved panels with vintage themes and wrought iron door hinge and handle.

All wood carvings on the walls and ceilings are made by hand by highly skilled craftsmen. Looking at the cross vault alone, its incredible woodwork and the detail of the carvings, the refinement of the gold leaf and the etched glass luminary, is enough to judge the incredible amount of work that embellishes a Premium Class wine cellar by FWC.

One of the most beautiful wine cellars in the world hangs on a cliff facing beautiful views of the Bosphorus
seaway in Istanbul. With the brilliant intervention of FWC, solid rocks are transformed into an extraordinary wine cellar which becomes the backdrop of an accordingly decorated private dining room.

The building is built as an annex to a large Bosphorus mansion. Every element of the interior is integrally purchased, designed and produced to host a genuine dining experience. The wine cellar counter top is made of hand-made hexagonal larch blocks in perfect harmony with the sideboard and the dining table. The sideboard is accompanied by two antique chairs and a tapestry depicting medieval wine production in its various stages. All luminaries are specially designed and wrought by hand for this interior.


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Luminous Grace

wine cellar illumination

When a wine cellar becomes something other than a dark, moist room full of dusty wine bottles, illumination starts to mean something more than just a candle light to read the labels.

Whether it is a commercial wine cellar in a restaurant or a private residence, a room known to be full of treasured wines can easily become a treasure itself with a little help from carefully designed illumination. Transparent materials in combination with colour and intensity- adjustable LED lights play a crucial role in enhancing people’s curiosity and enthusiasm.
LED lights are especially suitable for constant wine cellar illumination for they emit neither heat nor UV rays.

An impressive collection of top Italian wines rests in this cellar belonging to a restaurant operated
by the famous Italian chef Bombana inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel of Galaxy Macau’s Phase 2. The restaurant
–8 ½ Otto e Mezzo– is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant and its cellar which has a capacity of 1540 bottles is designed and built by Focus Wine Cellars. The most striking feature that makes this cellar unique is a special wine display wall composed of 56 individually cast and silver-clad hand sculptures each with its individual label lighting.

This wine cellar sitting at the heart of one of the most prominent Italian restaurants in the city, Panino
Giusto Ristorante & Caffé, hints at the treasures hidden inside from all three façades with large glazings. One immediately feels that the whole set-up is organised around the wine cellar, and thus wine. Restaurant guests can comfortably walk into the wine cellar together with the sommelier, and choose a bottle from the 600 bottle collection. On the outside, the cellar is decorated with a crown made out of original wine box panels.

Does functional bar equipment always have to look
sterile and dull? Not necessarily. Borsa Restaurant Istinye Park’s wine cellar is the irrefutable proof that functionality and ambiance can go perfectly together.
With the help of the gentle illumination of the wine display units, the vertical array of wine bottles seem to merge in with other spirits to form a very inviting bar setting. In fact, the wine bottles are physically separated from other liquours in front, by means of a special UV- filtered triple glass barrier, behind which the perfect environmental conditions are created for the wine to be preserved flawlessly.
Accessed through an invisible door, this wine cellar space is much larger than one perceives from the outside. 4.5 m ceiling height is fully benefited by a sliding ladder which enables a maximum bottle storage capacity of 1,440 bottles.
Wine preservation is quite the opposite of a burden to this restaurant: The wine cellar is its genious loci.

Park Bosphorus Istanbul Hotel is a legend for it hosted many well-known political figures such as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, King Edward VIII, Adnan Menderes and other celebrities in the past and after being closed for 22 years, the hotel re-opened fully renovated and resorted as a 7-star hotel at its magnificent location on the Gümüşsuyu Road near Taksim Square. The main dining hall of the hotel features a large wine cellar which has a spectacular 9 m long façade, half of which is facing the restaurant while the other half welcomes the guests approaching from the entrance hall. Evenly sized five grand windows with gold robust, firm looking frames allow guests to take a peek into the rich wine collection. Intrigued guests may go also inside the cellar together with the sommelier, where they will find a beautiful long cellar space articulated by successive arches of coloured lights.

Radisson Blu Hotel Pera, unlike many other hotels in the Pera district of Istanbul, is located right on the busy Tarlabaşı Boulevard. The all day dining restaurant which this wine cellar is a part of is located on the ground level, has windows to the boulevard and is situated right next to the entrance of the hotel. The wine cellar functioning as a divider between the entrance of the hotel and the dining area is clearly visible from the boulevard through the large window panes of the restaurant as well as from the porch of the hotel. The wine cellar is a curious site to passers-by at street level, some of which admit to be tempted by the striking cellar to peek inside or maybe even have a bottle.

Located in the middle of the spacious Ballaró Restaurant of Dubai Conrad Hotel, FWC’s first wine tower is the true centrepiece of the restaurant. With its high ceiling and uninterrupted space, Ballaró is the perfect place to build such a sculptural wine cellar with its round form, transparent shell and radiating coloured lights. Bottles inside the cellar are stored horizontally along the circumference of the cellar, in CNC-cut cavities on back-lit glass shelves.

Sitting at the entrance of the top floor of an historical building where the
headquarters of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is situated, this wine cellar seems to be whispering to its guests the necessity to drink wine in this restaurant… The wine cellar has a different version of FWC’s PLX-1 display units and the concave acrylic back wall with concealed illumination creates a stunning background.

Ernest Hemingway and Greta Garbo are known to have favoured the Pera Palace as their sancutary for rest and private socialising. With the renovation, the hotel aimed to become once again one of the most popular destinations for decerning travelers. Therefore, all rooms and public areas were refurbished using only products with the best quality and appeal. The wine cellar was entrusted to FWC. Diligent design and expert construction of the wine cellar are evident in the smallest details, such as the copper engraving in the floor of Hemingway’s remarkable words about wine: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”

Twin wine cellars adorne Radisson Blu Şişli Hotel’s
semielliptical lobby. The cellars with their intricate design of lights and reflections meld well with the rest of the bar area which consists of two similarly detailed hard liquor cabinets and a bar counter at their centre. The cellars are set at two different temperatures for keeping red and white wines separately at temperatures closer to their serving temperature which ensures a more smooth operation.

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transparent acrylic panels


Besides wooden storage units, FWC produces display units made of transparent acrylic panels manufactured by using computer controlled machine tools.


These acrylic panels are produced with the highest international standards demanded by the likes of the aerospace industry. The acrylic panels are glass-clear and remain so well beyond the norm. These display units are favoured by interior designers and architects as they can easily become an integral part of most interiors. Especially when combined with the right illumination, these units can help create stunning wine cellars which contribute immensely to the overall atmosphere.
Depending on the required capacity and appearance, one of three original designs can be selected: PLX-1, which is comprised of clear acrylic panels and stainless steels pins, the genious PLX-2, which contains units with high capacity and finally PLX-3 which is more for cellars that require less density and more transparency. Needless to say, all of these units and many more unique designs by FWC fulfill the criteria for correct wine cellar design.
On the matter of criteria, wine cellars must be protected against the harmful effects of sun light. This has been one of the reasons why people kept wine in the dark depths of buildings in the past.

Thanks to technological advancements, it is possible today to build cellars with large glass surfaces on all façades. All design work and production of PLX units by FWC are protected by international copyrights laws.

This cellar was built for a wealthy wine lover who owns a small but valuable wine collection. The cellar is located on the basement
floor of the mansion and takes up only 11 m2. But the visual impact is so great that it keeps calling people back for another glance. The wines are showcased mostly on acrylic displays which make the bottles directly accessible with labels showing in full and under controlled lighting. The colored lights on these displays provide a soft glow on each bottle while creating a strong architectural accent. A similar accent is found on the ceiling, framing the delicate chandelier which is designed to highlight the four most valuable bottles on the back-lit onyx counter.

The wine cellar of the JW Marriott Hotel in Ankara is
currently the largest commercial cellar in Turkey. It is located at the main entrance of the hotel and acts as a welcoming divider between the lobby and Steak House Restaurant. While in most cases such a high glass wall decorated with wine bottles can only be a mere display feature without any storage properties for wine, this one is a proper walk-in wine cellar with an immense thermally insulated glass façade 5 m high and 7 m wide. The walk-in cellar can hold up to 1,860 bottles in two different temperature compartments which enable storing different kinds of wine separately, at temperatures closer to their serving temperature.

The walk-in wine cellar is coupled by an ambient display for high circulation wines behind the bar. Each compartment of the walk-in wine cellar has a custom designed travelling ladder of its own which provide safe accessibility to all bottles, even those in the highest row.

Many would agree that a feature cellar in a restaurant
cannot be more sober than this. Armaggan Hotel’s cellar is an ode to purity with its unworked wooden surfaces on all interior planes and extra transparent large glass window panes. One can almost feel the wood without even going inside. The custom-designed angled wine display unit with concealed label lighting allows customers to see and read all labels available in the cellar.

The wine cellar of the Sheraton Hotel Ataköy Istanbul which is equipped with PLX-3 wine display units by
FWC, is exemplary for its lightness and ease. As simple as it may seem, an enormous amount of research and hard labour goes into achieving such an effect. In contrast with the general opinion that wine cellars need to be dark and hidden places, this one glows safely behind technological glazing, at the centre of the speciality restaurant.

Divan Istanbul Asia built in Pendik, one of the fastest growing business districts of Istanbul, is especially oriented
towards guests with busy travelling schedules and scarcity of time. Everything in the hotel is made as streamlined as possible and the wine cellar is no exception. Strategically located at the heart of the all-day-dining restaurant facing the lobby, the 1,600 bottle wine cellar is highly accessible. It stands out with its rounded corners, decorated with collectable wine box panels and beautifully illuminated PLX-2.1 display units by FWC.

Even restaurants once without a reputation for wine, can attract the attention of wine critics with their
wine list, thanks to a well-designed wine cellar. Konyalı Restaurant is probably one of the best examples for such a case.
The purpose of the PLX-1 display units, which are comprised of acrylic panels and stainless steel pins placed right behind the cellar glazing, neighboring the VIP section of the restaurant, is high transparency. Polished chrome plated metal display units with concealed illumination in front of the natural stone wall enable the wine bottles and their labels to be viewed comfortably.

wine cellar is used to be a feature of luxury hotels but
it has now become a prevailing feature for all hotels aiming to satisfy the refined needs of contemporary customers.
As the Hilton brand for contemporary comfort for business and leisure travellers mostly in metropolitan travel destinations, Doubletree Hotel required a modest and serviceable wine cellar. Conveniently located underneath a flight of stairs, at the entrance of the ground floor restaurant of the hotel, the wine cellar welcomes the guests and serves as a mood-setter with its coloured soft lights.

Hamdi Restaurant on the top floor of Radisson Blu Pera hotel holds a wine cellar that has a design reminiscent of the streamlined modernist buildings of the 1930s. Curved edges and horizontal lines are mainly responsible for the effect. Neon-like lighting which, in fact, is all made of LEDs to protect the wines from UV and heat, adds to the effect. The wine cellar also features a detached wine cabinet for keeping some popular wines at their serving temperature.

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Warm Touch of Wood

wine storage

The storage units used in wine cellars demand the fulfillment of certain criteria.

Especially in the case of wooden wine racks, the wood variety must be resistant to decay and deformation at high levels of humidity, sturdy enough to safely carry the weight of the wine bottles, free of undesirable odors and suitable for being processed with top quality craftsmanship.
The selection of the right wood requires expertise, and its acquisition can prove to be quite difficult. Likewise, the techniques for standard furniture manufacturing and cellar wood craftsmanship differ greatly.
FWC’s wooden wine racks are made of a selected variety of wood based on their dryness and other physical qualities as well as their aesthetic appeal.

Through meticulous craftsmanship, coupled with world-class production techniques, this special material is transformed into wine racks to accommodate precious wines as they age in total serenity.

Once upon a time, wine storage for many was a cold, little
metal cabinet with some cladding to make it look like it is a part of the interior. Loud compressors, terribly detailed LED strip installations and sweating glass panes were thought to be inevitable. Luckily, those days are over for people choosing to work with FWC. As clearly evident in this picture, the cellar is really an integral part of the interior. Following the smooth curved lines of the interior design, and matching natural materials, the cellar blends seamlessly into the space while simultaneously maintaining its primary function to present the wines in house gracefully. The solid wood display units and the feature mirror by the decanting counter add to the cosiness of the interior.

An example of highly efficient space use is the wine cellar designed as an optional feature in the Emaar Toscana Valley Houses in Büyükçekmece, Istanbul. The total capacity of this 4.8 m2 large wine cellar is 538 bottles. Its concave form, which can be widely applicable, provides it with a proportionally rather large glass display. Practically, every corner in any house can be transformed into such an impressive wine cellar without having to sacrifice either the aesthetics or the technical requirements. Despite its difficulty to produce, all concave glass here is thermally insulated and further decorated with flamboyant glass etchings. The natural stone floor of the wine cellar is decorated with radial timber lines following the concave form of the façade.

Manufactured with the finest wood workmanship, Masa Restaurant wine cellar is a rare example of a
successful combination of traditional and contemporary design. Masa Restaurant was keen to offer its guests the traditional wine cellar experience incorporating the feel and smell of wood. The cellar was also required to be visible and attractive for all customers. The task for FWC quickly came to realise a cellar that would please all senses of its visitors with the finest materials and detailing, simultaneously functioning as a welcoming stage for the act of enjoying wine. As challenging as it was, realising a large single piece, invisible glazing seemed suitable for the task.

Private wine collectors who are interested in having a wine cellar in their home usually go for the authentic, warm feel of wooden storage units. In this private wine cellar, this choice is taken a step further by covering all walls with the same solid oak wood, and to ensure that the feeling flows over into the house, a large glass façade was chosen. Looking through the glass, one immediately notices the cascade unit designed to exhibit the most precious wines in the cellar. During tastings, this unit is helpful with its detail for stemware.
One of the most appealing details about this beautiful solid wood cellar of an individual private wine collector, is the honeycomb counter. This counter is hand-clad with hexagonal solid wood blocks with beveled edges and is wide enough to place several wine bottles on it.

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Behind the Scene

wine aging

The practice of wine preservation started in the underground caves of Europe. These caves provided the conditions suitable for aging wine perfectly.

Thanks to modern technology, we do not have to go underground to preserve our wines. Wine cellars of our day offer the environment where hundreds of wines can age and mature in total calm for years as if they were in an actual underground cellar. The manufacturing and installation of wine cellars involve as much expertise as their design do.
One of the most important reasons a cellar must be realised by a specialised team is the issue of insulation. Insulation is fundamental to sustaining the necessary physical features of a wine cellar, including temperature and humidity control. Insufficient thermal insulation and vapor barriers cause undesirable circumstances such as wide temperature fluctuations, extreme humidity, mold and odors. Temperature fluctuations result in the fast oxidation of wine while extreme humidity damages bottle labels and undesirable odors can taint the bouquet thus ruin quality.
In other words, more than the degree of temperature, it is the prevention of temperature fluctuations which plays the crucial role in an ideal wine cellar. Cellars by FWC are equipped with purpose-built special wine cellar air-conditioners which ensure that the cellar’s temperature is always at the adjusted degree and the critical temperature fluctuations are avoided. These highly sensitive pieces of equipment will function properly only when and if the cellar space is sufficiently and correctly insulated.

Humidity is also maintained at the desired range by these special air-conditioners. Their superior air ventilation feature prevents stagnant air inside the cellar and circulates it continuously. As a result, variation of temperature between the floor and the ceiling and thus the uneven maturation of wines on different shelves are avoided.

Efficient space planning and absolute charm. Can
these go together? As this new cellar by FWC by Lake Ontario, Canada proves, absolutely! In an area of 6 m2, around 1000 bottles are individually made available in this cellar for cherishing and enjoying. Behind two large pieces of specialist cellar glazing, lit acrylic shelves display the majority of the bottles for visual enjoyment from the double high living room. The wine cellar is located directly opposite the central fireplace. Inside where the air is strictly kept conditioned for wine, more space is created for bottles in various sizes: regular bottles, magnums, jeroboams etc…

The general design and detailing of the cellar is modern, elegantly matching the style of the house. The staining color of the oak wood on the façade and all around the interior of the cellar was carefully chosen and creates a charming contrast with the dark grey graffiti marble on the floor.

Every wine cellar is shaped by a negotiation between the two inherent but
contradicting functions of a wine cellar: exhibiting and safeguarding. The task is sometimes so complicated that each wine cellar becomes a new invention on its own; it is shaped by pushing the limits of technical possibilities. The wine cellar inside Sunset Restaurant is a typical example of this innovative approach. The insulation task was complicated by the obligation to create large glazings for an oval plan layout to meet the high transparency expectancies of the client.

This residential cellar has a unique design that radiates a fantastical feeling of space. The wine bottles are
arranged on CNC-cut glass shelves in a polar array of 300 degrees, from the ceiling to the floor. This ultra-modern setting, in combination with ingenious concealed LED illumination, gives the interior of the wine cellar a divine quality. On the outside, the cellar is a curious illuminated cylinder at the back of the living room. Profound detailing and exquisite workmanship, ensure the maintenance of ideal climate conditions inside. The cellar exemplifies FWC’s ability to combine style with technical perfectionism

The entrance to Dubai Conrad Hotel’s Marco Pierre White Grill Restaurant is an archway of wine. Guests are
welcomed by sixteen select wines in gun barrel-shaped window displays on sides and four rows of lit up bottles in the ceiling. It’s a splendid light and shadow play, intensified with changing rhythm of planes, shapes and colours. Behind this unusual array of bottle displays are two walk-in wine cellars -one for red and one for white wines- which are the result of precise engineering and fine workmanship.

The door is the most tricky element of a wine cellar because it is the weakest point of the cellar in terms of
insulation efforts made for ensuring the temperature stability and condensation control. Engineered details, including carefully picked and crafted materials make the cellar doors by FWC technically superb. Moreover, a cellar door is never just a cellar door for FWC. Great design effort goes into each cellar door, sometimes involving artists and skilled craftsmen as it was the case in this beautiful residential cellar built in the annex building of an Istanbul mansion by the Bosphorus seaway. The cellar door features CNC-cut solid wood panels with thin copper inlays on both sides and hand-wrought steel pull handles. A copy of the cellar door is made for the door to the pantry to create a symmetry.


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Design: Criteria, Process, Project

wine cellar design


The adventure of owning a wine cellar starts by meeting the design team.

During this meeting, all essential criteria for the cellar’s design are determined in the light of a variety of factors including the designated location for the cellar, the wine purchase habits and the consumption frequency it is to service. After evaluation of these specific requirements, the process of computer-aided design and planning is followed by the production phase including critically significant insulation. The entire process of application is completed with the installation of equipment, storage units and the specialised cellar door.
The expert designers at FWC conceptualise cellars not only as rooms for preserving wine bottles properly, but also as prestigious spaces contributing to the overall aesthetics of the accommodating building whether it be a house, a villa, a restaurant, a hotel or a wine boutique.
The design and planning of wine cellars must be carried out by an expert team. Improperly planned wine cellars cannot provide the necessary conditions for precious wines to age flawlessly. The design and planning process at FWC is customarily supported with 2D and 3D renderings, providing additional visual information about the prospective cellars for wine lovers.

Each one of the cellars featured in this chapter are very different from each other and are there to give a comprehensive account of the range of possibilities to build a wine cellar.

Divan Istanbul Hotel’s cellar has some unique features, one
of which is especially noteworthy. This massive 2,000-bottle wine cellar was originally planned as a long term storage space, on top of the bar, with access through the hotel’s central staircase. For daily use, two vertical extensions were added down towards the bar to allow access to the bottles from the ground floor. With the help of an innovative air circulation system, the conditioned air inside the wine cellar circulates between the ground floor and the first floor.

The bar is ‘hooded’ by the wine cellar and this idea is reflected in the design as a U-shaped, 7-metre-high glass cellar façade clad with wine bottles. A true edifice for wine culture.

This level of detailing and materialisation is the result of meticulous research efforts, and their cohesion is achieved by using advanced (2D and 3D) design tools.
To attain rooms designed not only for preserving wines correctly, but as rooms which are also prestigious spaces, designers at FWC put many hours of work into determining the right place for every single bottle and every ornament on the floor, walls and ceiling.
The drawings on these two pages are of an expansive wine cellar and its degustation area, belonging to a Head of State, which was still in design and development stage during the printing of this book.

FWC’s wine cellar built on a rocky cliff facing the gorgeous views of the Bosphorus seaway in Istanbul, Turkey was an inspiration to the interior designers of Cave Bar of Dubai Conrad Hotel. They conceived the bar as an authentic wine cave with crude walls, dramatic lighting and all walls covered with wine bottles. Focus Wine Cellars designed the wine cellar area as a tasting room large enough to accommodate bigger groups, which is embraced by fully transparent wine storage. The horizontally aligned wavy strips of light and alternating hoards of wine on rugged timber logs give the impression of a continuous wine storage but in fact it is a threefold cellar, all individually set and maintained to keep different wines at temperatures close to their serving temperature.

After considerable success at the Sheraton Hotel Ataköy Istanbul, FWC was approached to realise another wine
cellar for the Sheraton Hotel Maslak Istanbul. In this instance, the space reserved for the wine cellar was large enough to be divided into two compartments each with a different temperature setting.
Though the preservation conditions for all wines are the same, and they are usually kept together in one cellar, creating separate compartments with different climate conditions can sometimes have its own operational advantages. With a standard one-compartment cellar, white wines need to be chilled before serving in order to attain the required serving temperature. With a dual-compartment cellar, as the preservation temperature is low, not only is it time efficient, with less chilling time required, but it is also far more conducive for the bouquet of the wine to come forth.
Linear alignment of the two compartments behind a uniform glass façade creates an image of a large single-space wine cellar. PLX-3 wine storage units, which comprise of CNC-cut acrylic panels and concealed LED illumination, add to the simple elegance.

An accepted opinion on wine cellars is that they occupy too much space, and this is often
the argument for smaller restaurants to choose wine cabinets, or to ignore the idea of specialised storage altogether. In reality, a wine cabinet is hardly an equivalent replacement for a proper walk-in wine cellar; the fact is that the thermal mass inside a wine cellar is always incomparably higher than that of a wine cabinet, and this in turn effects crucial temperature stability. Temperature stability is not obtainable in wine cabinets as successfully as in walk-in wine cellars. The ambition at FWC is to find integral design solutions to realise a wine cellar even when it initially seems unlikely.
The wine cellar at Lebiderya Restaurant occupies an area of 2.2 m2 and herewith it is FWC’s smallest commercial walk-in wine cellar. The white lacquer and glass box is a subtle manifestation of the minimal design intent which is also dually functional as a separator between the dining hall and the kitchen entrance.

An all-wood cellar sometimes can be found too classic
for a contemporary home interior. Still, the warmth of wood is something that most wine enthusiast want to have for their wines. This is where FWC comes in to carefully pick and design materials to “lighten up” the cellar. In this case, the classic oak wood is combined with two large panels of back- lit onyx where wine bottles are arrayed with bronze pins. Bordeaux or Burgundy, these pins can hold regular 750ml bottles as well as magnums. For the rest, the drawers under the onyx counter offer flexible storage space for various sizes. The very large formats like Jeroboams and Imperials can be stored at the very end of the cellar, on the shelves above the cooling unit, or standing up on the counter. Just like sparkling wine…

Stained white oak on the floor, bronze covered brick vault with concealed lighting and the ornamented light boxes between the onyx panels further light up the cellar.


Cellar designs

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About Wine Preservation

wine aromas

Wine is delicate; maximizing its potential and accentuating its subtle aromas requires special care and attention…

Through its scents, colors and aromas, clues to the life story of a wine can be found. The age of a wine, the variety of grapes and the conditions of growth can be identified by tasting a glass of wine; it is also possible to tell whether the wine was preserved properly or not.

Special care in preservation is essential for perfect maturation and the unfolding of rich bouquets. Over the centuries, wine culture and production methods have undergone numerous changes. Throughout history new wine grapes have been cultivated, techniques of viticulture and winemaking have evolved.

Yet, over the years, one thing has remained unchanged; the necessary conditions for the proper preservation of wine: An environment at a constant and relatively low temperature, a high but not extreme level of humidity, protection from vibration, unwanted odors and the harmful effects of sunlight…

This is what wine has always asked from us. Aged in wine cellars offering this calm environment, wine reaches the peak of its potential; developing richer aromas and more complex bouquets. It is for this reason that every passionate wine lover aspires to own a private wine cellar.


Learn about Focus Wine Cellars


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