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.