Oscar Niemeyer's Final Building Opens to the Public

John Hill
19. 4月 2022
Photo courtesy of Château La Coste

Niemeyer's sinuous building with exhibition space and 80-seat auditorium is not the first notable work of architecture among Château La Coste's 500 acres. It joins structures designed by Tadao Ando, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Richard Rogers and other architects, as well as large-scale artworks by Andy Goldsworthy, Per Kirkeby, Liam Gillick, Daniel Buren and other artists. Open to the public since 2011, Château La Coste has become known as much for its Art & Architecture Walk as for its wines and beautiful Provençal landscape. The last appears to have attracted Niemeyer to undertake the project in 2010, completing the design with his team in the two years leading up to his death in December 2012. The winery asserts that the pavilion is "the final project drawn by Niemeyer and his last gift to France, a country close to his heart."

“It was an absolute pleasure to work on this project. The location is very beautiful and a pleasant, peaceful environment. The pavilion had to be a light construction adapted to the landscape as well as the vegetation. The structure is at home in this setting and will be a joy to walk around.”

Oscar Niemeyer

Photo courtesy of Château La Coste

Niemeyer was born and died in Rio de Janeiro, famously designing the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, in the second half of the 1950s. A member of the Brazilian Communist Party, Niemeyer went into exile in 1965 after the Brazilian coup d'état, ending up in France. There he designed the Headquarters of the French Communist Party in Paris, the Labor Council Building of Bobigny, and other buildings before returning to Brazil in 1985. According to Château La Coste, after returning to Rio de Janeiro Niemeyer said he would "only leave his home city for Paris." The pavilion at Château La Coste gave Niemeyer the chance to contribute one more building to his country of exile, locating the building among the vineyards in line with his view that wine is "an important symbol of mankind's presence on Earth."

Photo courtesy of Château La Coste