Q&A with Rachel Luchetti from Luchetti Krelle
What was your inspiration for the transformation and reimagination of the Mount Pleasant cellar door?
We felt that there were good bones to work with although the existing cellar door seemed to be oriented the wrong way – overlooking the carpark instead of to the north where the views are spectacular. The ‘homestead’ was very dated and needed to be completely reimagined in a way that tapped into the vernacular of an historical Australian homestead in an authentic way. It couldn’t be contrived so we studied every proportion and detail from historic homesteads such as Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta to understand what a French door should be, linings, claddings posts and even the gutter profile. We stripped some of the verandahs off the smaller wing to reveal a ‘barn’ which sits better in the landscape and references the outbuildings that were originally on the property – back in Maurice O’Shea’s day. The result is still a contemporary take on the homestead and barn with nostalgia in healthy doses.
What elements and features do you think work the best and why?
The scale of the spaces is rather impressive yet still feels quite residential and approachable. The comfort factor plays a significant role in achieving this. Showcasing wine is at the heart of this endeavour and the flow from the arresting display in the ‘wine store’ through to the ‘homestead’ cellar door where an impressive over scaled blackbutt and zinc counter becomes a staging area for the winemaker to tell stories and share insights into his craft. The experience is pure, stripped back and focused.
How do you want visitors to feel when entering the Cellar Door and associated spaces?
I’d like to think that at first they will feel welcome, like visiting and old friend in a country estate. The fine collection of contemporary photography gracing the walls provides visual interest and sparks conversation on an intellectual level supported by the wine tasting experience.
You were working with an iconic brand, with an important legacy, but one that was looking forward as well. How did you approach the redesign bearing both things in mind?
It’s postmodernism put into practice in a spatial environment. History is acknowledged and celebrated with a contemporary twist