Château La Coste art gallery is a vineyard where wine, art, and architecture co-exist in perfect harmony. Paddy McKillen, the Irish property magnate, purchased Château La Coste in 2002 from the family who had owned the winery for 70 years. He invited artists and architects to visit the estate and discover the beauty of Provence. For each collaboration, artists are encouraged to choose a place in the landscape that speaks directly to them and receive the freedom to create a work that would live there.
The walk takes about two hours, and the itinerary has quite some hills, so you’re encouraged to come prepared with water, a hat and good walking shoes. The great thing though, is that you will get a workout in for the day and satisfy your cultural cravings. The tour starts at the Tadao Ando designed entrance building and takes you through the vineyards on the hilly estate. Below are some highlights of the walk.
This work by Sean Scully is made from more than 1,000 tonnes of limestone in grey, blue and red. Scully intends to “chase the space out of his work.” He deliberately leaves the marks and dents that resulted from the extraction process of the limestone.
The artist Tunga suspends scales made of cast iron in architecturally minimal archways. The counterweight is a net made of cast iron filled with pieces of quartz. The weight of the quartz highlights the notion of precarious balance, a fragility that he identifies in human relationships.
The original chapel dating back to the 16th century, was in ruins when Tadao Ando first came to visit La Coste. He wanted to give it a new lease of life, as well as protecting the original site. Ando restored the chapel and added a framework composed of steel and glass wrapping the ancient structure.
The aluminum and stainless-steel work by Liam Gillick is at the intersection between sculpture and architecture. The installation is an interactive work where Gillick invites the visitor to slide the panels, thus changing the perspective from inside to outside according to your viewing position. With the sliding walls, the artist evokes Japanese moving walls.
Tom Shannon deals with scientific subjects in his sculptures. He uses powerful magnets in several of his works to suspend his sculptures in permanent levitation. The work received its name from its levitating shape, and the visitor can spin, tilt, rise/fall, and glide horizontally.
The project to create the pavilion was in partnership with the Serpentine Gallery in London. It was first exhibited at the Serpentine in 2007 with the support of La Coste before being installed permanently at its current location.
The Renzo Piano pavilion is built to both display art and preserve wine. Due to the natural topography, Piano decided to dig 6 meters deep to integrate the building into the vineyard fully. The roof structure is fastened to thin metal arches, which echo the rows of vines and connect the vineyard with the pavilion.