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Artisans Cellar, Singapore, Singapore

Monday 24 Nov 2008

Full frontal – wine not?

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Designer wine cellar goes against the grain 

In the typical wine shop, you would be pulling out all stops to get the owner to show you his/her finest stash, which would usually be hidden from public view in the darkest, deepest corner of a cellar. Singapore’s new wine retail shop Artisans Cellar has its entire collection of luxury cuvee wines displayed unabashedly in a concrete tunnel protruding from the shop front. The cellar is the main factor in drawing the passerby into the store, yet it marks the end of his/her visit as visitors have to traverse the reception area and wine tasting lounge, giving a sense of an experience they have made its full circle.

Local creative shop Asylum, which designed the interiors, worked with a professional cellar builder to ensure optimal wine storage conditions in the three-by-six-metre tunnel. The walls were insulated, and the glass double glazed with a heated panel on one end to prevent condensation.

While other cellars connote heritage, Artisan Cellars is a statement of modernity with a dramatic lack of forms and minimal use of curved lines. Wide floor-to-ceiling glass doors beckon the curious and the place is characterised by dramatic right angles. Devoid of images and dominated by white space, the store uses typography to communicate instead. The text quotes famous talk of wine, such as Galileo Galilei’s “Wine is sunlight, held together by water”, bringing users and authors of the space closer together. Etched into whitewashed walls, the quotes overrun from one wall to the next, uniting the space and conversations.

The geometry of the regular-shaped protrusions is a motif reflected in the cellar, and the forms of the Eames chairs, and other furnishings in the wine-tasting area. The simple set-up of furnishing in the lounge allows for future experimentation with the space.

Zijia Wong

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