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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Lakeview Wine Co. Retail & Tasting Pavilion in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada by TCA | THIER + CURRAN ARCHITECTS INC.

February 28th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal


A modest, low cost retail and tasting pavilion aspires to help transform the image and create a stronger public experience for a mid-market winery on a main road into Niagara-on-the-Lake. Replacing a portable classroom structure, this project creates a high quality, permanent building for the rebranded Lakeview Wine Company’s operations rebounding from a bankruptcy. The building is placed tight against the vines to create an authentic vineyard experience, with a building form derived from local agricultural buildings and sheds.

The South elevation viewed across the event lawn / future pond, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

  • Project: Lakeview Wine Co. Retail & Tasting Pavilion
  • Location: 1067 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0, Canada
  • Photography: DoubleSpace Photography, Francis Fougere
  • Team of Architects: William J.E. Curran, OAA, MRAIC, LEED AP, Stevan Gacesa, OAA, Kyle Slote, OAA
  • Engineers: Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc., YWY Engineering Inc., CoPa Engineering Ltd., Mighton Engineering Ltd.
  • Specialist Consultants: Aldershot Landscape Contractors L.P.
  • Builder: GEN-PRO
  • Construction Budget: $1,500,000
  • Date of Occupancy: May 2017

The grape vines come right up to the building at the Glass Cube Tasting Room, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

Site Design

The design creates its own sense of place turned to the vineyards and views to the Niagara Escarpment beyond, and buffered from the busy road and looming utilitarian production building on the site.  A future pond and second hospitality building due soon will complete the placemaking. Terraces and buildings all focus out to vineyards.

View of building looking northwest, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The building as viewed from the streetImage Courtesy © Francis Fougere

Building Design

The building form is a simple yet striking wedge shape with a distinctive exterior of Japanese ‘Shou Sugi Ban’ charred cedar, with natural cedar accents used for emphasis and contrast. A glass cube lounge cube at the end of the tasting room is a focal point, drawing the eye and the visitor though the building.  The cube offers panoramic views into the vineyard and can function as a private tasting room.

South elevation view at dusk, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The entry bridge and porch complete with in-ground lighting, custom metal light fixtures and backlit benches; northwest view, Image Courtesy © Francis Fougere

To create a sense of arrival, a footbridge leads to a covered entrance porch with built-in wood benches and custom oversized wood pivoting doors clad in Zebrawood. The interior space is low at the entry but rises dramatically to draw visitors deep into the space, with skylights and high windows bringing in generous daylight.

Interior view of Tasting / Retail from the entry, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

Granite-clad feature plinths punctuate the shelving units as a feature, Image Courtesy © Francis Fougere

The space is lined with tall, varied retail shelving animated by a playful array of small windows, buffering the road. The shelving is varied to add visual interest with movable castered display islands in the centre of the space. Granite and coloured accents enliven the economical MDF shelving.

Plywood slats cut into varying widths serves as the ceiling finish, emphasizing the dramatic slope of the space, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

Castered mobile shelf islands and varied wall shelving offer a variety of merchandising options, Image Courtesy © Francis Fougere

The room has a simple ceiling of inexpensive plywood cut into varied strips to add texture and to make it look like more than it is, with a grid of exposed steel columns and beams adding spatial articulation and texture.  A low side wing includes washrooms, staff and service space, and holds rooftop HVAC equipment.

Four round skylights punctuate the sloping ceiling, bringing ample daylight through the space, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The tasting bars feature a unique granite with wood and steel accents, Image Courtesy © Francis Fougere

Two long granite and layered wood tasting bars with rear display counters allow for numerous staff stations and places for people to taste and linger, with birchbark clad lights marking cashiers.  Wide glass walls behind the tasting bars provide uninterrupted views to the vineyard and Escarpment beyond, kept unencumbered by a large sunshade fin enclosure.

A floating fireplace creates ambience in the tasting area’s central lounge, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The Glass Cube Tasting Room features a perimeter metal, granite and wood drink rail, a custom paint finish on the ceiling, and uninhibited views of the vineyards, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

Noisier group tasting is accommodated at the higher west end of the space with oversized sliding wood and glass doors available for noise control. A small central lounge area is anchored by a focal floating fireplace offering warmth and a visual amenity.

The entry porch, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The entry vestibule features oversized pivot doors and the same custom paint finish as the ceiling of the Glass Cube Tasting Room, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The architects’ careful use of colour, attention to detail and dedication to craft result in a building that is decidedly warm and inviting. Elements receiving particular consideration include millwork, metalwork (all left raw; we’re from Hamilton and love steel), a varied palette of warm rich colours, custom paint finishes in the vestibule and cube, unique light fixtures built by artists in Toronto, Vancouver, and Philadelphia and handmade cast glass tile from California.

A unique chandelier of recycled tumbler glasses hangs in the centre of the tasting and retail spaces, Image Courtesy © Francis Fougere

Custom washroom signage repeats the granite elements found throughout the retail spaces, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

The building as viewed from the vineyard, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

A large fin on the south elevation acts as a sunshade, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

A detail of the Japanese ‘shou sugi ban’ charred cedar siding, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography

A rendering of the future master plan complete with a second retail / event building, pond; and more formal terraces, Image Courtesy © DoubleSpace Photography




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Categories: Building, Wine Shop

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