New World Luxury

Foolscap Studio delivers a high-luxe design for Domaine Chandon in Australia’s Yarra Valley

Victoria’s Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s premier wine regions, with Domaine Chandon one of its most highly regarded wineries. As an outpost of the global Moët Hennessey sparkling wine house, it has a strong French heritage to uphold and does this by using the time-honoured méthode traditionnelle to create its sparkling wines. When Foolscap Studio was tasked with renovating the premises, retaining the brand’s old-world charm within a renewed modern context was of utmost priority.

The brief called for the reconfiguration of the interior to deliver an immersive experience across bar, dining, tasting and retail spaces. ‘They were after a contemporary, more hospitality-focused approach to their service,’ explains Adele Winteridge, the Melbourne-based founder and director of Foolscap Studio. ‘So we brought the retail area out of the tasting room and centred it in a fully integrated environment that celebrates hospitality by offering wine by the glass.’     

It helped that Winteridge had a generous volume in which to work, with breathtaking views out over the natural surrounds. Domaine Chandon’s delicately nuanced pink, green and brown colour palette is inspired by the tonal shifts within the landscape, while natural light floods in via full-height glazing, highlighting the fit-out’s exquisite detailing.

The scheme’s driving concept very much takes its lead from the brand’s traditional winemaking method and uses the idea of alchemy to inform the interior’s spatial planning. Winteridge’s layout plays with the acts of compression and release, creating balance between large, open spaces and smaller, intimate zones. The concept is even realised within the central banquette unit’s curves, which in turn echo the undulating landscape outside — a considered move that adds to the design’s multi-layered expression.

 The alchemy idea is particularly well resolved in the material palette, too. For Winteridge, it was about exploring the way materials react to the passing of time and to various processes. ‘The result of our experimentation is reflected in the application of different metals and metal finishes and treatments. Woven and perforated materials, for instance, are juxtaposed with the solidity of opaque substances to allude to the duality of density and lightness in sparkling wine,’ she explains.

Velvet and aged leather upholstery, terracotta tile and timber flooring, and mesh and perforated steel panels are the perfect backdrop for Domaine Chandon’s product. The wine bottles are presented in various vignettes that echo installations within an art gallery, and the fit-out’s artistry is further reinforced by an oversized suspended kinetic sculpture in the main room. The showstopping piece was custom made by Melbourne-based metalworkers and craftspeople in a nod to local industry and manufacturing.

It’s an incredibly striking interior that invokes grandeur as much in its luxe finishes as it does in the bespoke details. After all, Chandon’s parent brand is French-based luxury goods company LVMH. While the overall aesthetic is definitely luxurious, the design’s ultimate success is to be found in its ability to be both welcoming and high-end, all at the same time.  

Text / Leanne Amodeo
Images / Tom Blachford