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Le Dôme Châteu Teyssier Winery, Saint-Émilion

Le Dôme Winery: acoustic design for a unique visitor experience

In a respectful nod to the character of Bordeaux’s Saint-Émilion terroir, Foster + Partners’ new Le Dôme winery blends in with the surrounding hills, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

Designed to draw visitors into the heart of wine making and viticulture, the two-storey circular plan building is a state-of-the-art-facility that will showcase and celebrate wine making and wine tasting.

Foster + Partner’s unique design is topped by a spectacular domed timber roof: with a 40-metre diameter, the self-supported structure provides unfettered, 360° views of the surrounding vineyards. The reciprocal structure creates for a 6-meter wide skylight, allowing daylight to flood the building.

The upper floor functions as a circular gallery holds a wine bar, tasting room and entertainment area as well as administrative office space. The gallery allows visitors to peek into the heart of the wine production process, hosted in the central atrium downstairs. But how do you engineer noise control within this iconic building, and ensure visitors are able to enjoy these two, very distinct experiences?

Arup’s acoustic design team has worked with the architects and the client to ensure visitors can enjoy the best sensory experience at this new Château Teyssier winery. Thanks to extensive acoustic testing and modelling, the team have highlighted some of the potential challenges – and design solutions - for the successful integration of production and winery activities while allowing a comfortable space for visitors, offices and clients.

Project Summary

40 metre diameter roof

360Audio real sound sources


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Flexible acoustic solutions

Arup’s auralisations and acoustic modelling helped the client understand how the architects’ different design solutions would actually ‘sound like’ during the design stage; helping to inform the decision-making process before completion. 

To enhance the acoustic experience, Arup’s sound designers suggested using textural finishes, including the introduction of an acoustic absorbent material for the roof as well as some of the vertical walls.

Digital tools - ExperienceLab and the acoustic design process

The ambitious building will house both wine production and wine tasting space, including harvesting equipment – so our acoustic designers worked to explore how to create an environment which would respond to this challenging acoustic brief. Using Audio 360, the team gathered extensive sound readings and samples of the machinery and production process during the harvest. 

Combined with a volumetric recreation of the building, the sounds levels and audio recordings were then mixed at Arup’s ExperienceLab in Madrid to create three different auralisations of the space, the aural equivalent of visualisations. These virtual acoustics scenarios are a cost-effective way of helping clients explore the acoustic signature of the before design is completed.