2012 National Architecture Awards: Commercial

Medhurst Winery by Folk Architects Commercial Architecture: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Folk Architects has designed a new winemaking facility for Medhurst Wines in Victoria’s Yarra Valley that is completely embedded into the landscape and defined by a series of horizontal elements that follow the contours of the site. Nestled quietly into an existing hill to reduce its visual impact on the landscape, the building accentuates its natural setting by framing views to the surrounding Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserve.

The programmatic requirements, orientation and restrained material palette have been thoroughly evaluated and considered in order to reduce the building’s energy use and provide a sustainable outcome. The landscaped green roof covering the barrel store provides thermal mass to reduce the requirement for mechanical cooling of stored wine. By placing the barrels under earth less evaporation (“the angels’ share”) of the wine occurs.

Similarly, the heat-reflective, translucent plastic cladding to the northern facade of the winemaking area allows artificial lighting to be replaced with filtered natural sunlight.

The new winery sits adjacent to an existing cellar door and is very much intended to enable public engagement with the winemaking process. A meandering path leads patrons from wine tasting through a series of landscaped spaces to views of the production area and vines beyond.


Folk Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Building surveyor Protek Building Surveying
Contractor Skate Constructions
Earthworks Frank Wood
Green roof consultant FytoGreen Australia
Landscape Frank Wood
Structural engineer Coulthard Shim
Winery consultant Linney Engineering Services
Site details
Location Yarra Valley,  Vic,  Australia
Category Public / commercial
Type Commercial
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 2 Nov 2012
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2012
Images: Peter Bennetts


Architecture Australia, November 2012

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