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Ellerman House’s contemporary wine gallery by Michael Dennett


Up-and-coming architect Michael Dennett has designed a wine gallery for luxury hotel Ellerman House. The contemporary wine gallery is located below one of the luxury hotel’s villas in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ellerman House, a Relais & Chateaux property that once belonged to shipping magnates Sir John and Lady Ellerman unveiled the new wine gallery this year. The contemporary design of the new wine gallery is not only a showcase for Ellerman House’s extensive South African wine collection but also offers an interactive journey into the world of wine.


More like a work of art than merely a cellar, the wine gallery holds 7,500 of the hotel’s vintage and rare wines.


The gallery also includes an interactive multimedia wine library, maturation cellars for white and red wines, and a brandy tasting lounge. A special feature is a champagne cellar, stocked exclusively with rare and special vintages of Dom Perignon.

Paul Harris, the owner wanted an original concept for the wine gallery that had never been seen before. Harris wanted to create a space where guests and friends of Ellerman House could taste and appreciate the many fine wines produced in South Africa, while being inspired by world-class local architecture, sculptural art and design.


Paul Harris, owner of Ellerman House, said: “The wine gallery is a work of art, rather than just a functional space. I am truly delighted with the way the brief was interpreted.”

Designed by up-and-coming architect Michael Dennett, the contemporary wine gallery complements Ellerman House and its villas, merging old and new, past and future. He describes the wine gallery as a series of architectural spaces that appear to be carved out of solid rock. Inspiration was drawn from primeval, natural, ancient forms deriving from nature; from the spiraling helix shape of DNA strands, reflected in the design of Brian Steinhobel’s wine rack and Conrad Hicks’s staircase; and the Fibonacci or golden spiral, the oldest form of perfect proportion and symmetry used by the ancient Greeks, used in the design of the granite and in-laid copper floors.

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January 31, 2014 | Design | View comments

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