On February 1, 2022 the Natural Stone Institute presented the winners of the Pinnacle Awards in Las Vegas, NV.  The Pinnacle Awards given by the Natural Stone Institute are awarded to projects whose beauty, creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship exemplify professional mastery in the use of natural stone in commercial and residential applications. PEI’s project, Chateau Lynch-Bages Winery was one of the winners of the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Commercial Exterior Category. VM Kaldorf, the stone supplier and fabricator, located in Tittling-Kaldorf, Germany are the recipients of the award. 

The Lynch-Bages Chateau in the French Bordeaux region was recently redesigned as a multi-use building. Embedded in a picturesque winemaker village, the complex now unites the formally separate operations of vinification, a wine barrel cellar, office space and visitors’ center. The owner family, PEI Architects of New York City, and local architect BPM of Bordeaux took on the unprecedented task of harmonizing different functional and design-related requirements.

By working with transparency, light and open space, patrons can see the wine making operations from the reception and tasting area. This immersive brand experience brings the clientele much closer to the product. The design is translating the existing traditional Chateau into today using glass and stone in clear geometrical shapes.

The façade is of Jura beige vein cut limestone, quarried and fabricated by VM Kaldorf and a contrasting base board of Zimbabwe black granite, both 40mm thick. The veining creates a flowing effect which is evenly accentuated by fluted pieces above and at the sides of the reception and main dock entrance. Marbrier Pierre Taille of Paris installed the stone façade as the center piece of the entrance area welcomes the client with warm color tones and the self-confidence of a very successful Bordeaux winery.

The design intent of a plain and undisturbed surface was met by replacing visible joints with joggled joints all over the façade. They were designed by VM Kaldorf and every single panel was rebated in a distinctive pattern on their CNC machinery. Fluted pieces with all honed surfaces, sharp and square edges serve as special design elements. Assembled from a mother panel and pinned and glued fins, precision and care in fabrication, assembly and matching the veining were paramount.

Nine years from planning to groundbreaking resulted in something truly unprecedented and special: The new Lynch-Bages winery in Pauillac.

The judges commented “Ingenious detailing of the open joint system to eliminate a pass-through joint while maintaining the functionality of air passage necessary for pressure equalization.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Johannes Semmler of VM Kaldorf, left to right is Tony Malisani of Malisani Inc., Principal Rossana Gutierréz de Lubetsky of PEI Architects, and Michael Picco, Immediate Past President of Natural Stone Institute.