Incorporating oak into a steel frame
The concept behind the design replaces the existing farm buildings to ultimately resemble a typical Chilterns farmyard. The main winery building will be joined with other buildings to form a series of courtyards which will create sheltered spaces giving access to a new house, a hospitality barn and to storage buildings. The early seasons at Hundred Hills proved to be such perfect growing conditions that the bottle store took priority whilst other phases were delayed.
Carpenter Oak won the tender for various elements of the project, working closely with architect Ian Brown to create a oak framed two-storey balcony that wrapped around the corner of the steel frame. This allowed for visitor access on the first floor to the tasting room, with access to the balcony overlooking the vines planted across the valley.
The oak framed tasting room was a late entry into the works. Whilst one end provides additional structural support for the exterior, the bulk of this frame within a steel frame is aesthetic rather than structural.
One of the main challenges was to connect the exterior balcony with the steel frame. With all the oak columns on staddle stones, careful coordination with the main contractor was needed to ensure exacting levels and heights. A very tall and narrow structure, the oak frame is built as free-standing, but takes lateral support and stiffness from the steel frame, using connecting steel flitch plates to maintain rigidity.
The future of wine making at Hundred Hills
The concept behind the overall design will replace the existing farm buildings to ultimately resemble a typical Chilterns farmyard. The main winery building will be joined with other buildings to form a series of courtyards which will create sheltered spaces giving access to a new house, a hospitality barn and to storage buildings.
Once fully operational, visitors will be able to tour the production area with its 4 tonne presses and 6m high fermentation tanks, sample the wines in the oak framed tasting lounge and visit the cellars below. A kitchen on the first floor will be used for hospitality and serve the tasting events.
In 2017 the Chilterns Buildings Design Awards were staged at the Winery, with Hundred Hills winning the Building of the Year Award.