At the art center

Chapter »En Suite«: Château La Coste

In one of the oldest wine-growing regions of France, between the historic city of Aix-en-Provence and the picturesque Luberon National Park, Château La Coste stretches – a place where viticulture, art and architecture unite in harmonious coexistence.

In the early 2000s, Patrick McKillen, an Irish financial broker, acquired what once was an ordinary winery in Provence. He not only took over the winery itself, but also the existing team of the previous owner, the Bordonado family. Under McKillen’s leadership, a decisive turnaround was initiated – viticulture was converted to organic farming and shortly thereafter, in 2004, the plan to transform the estate into a center for contemporary art was born.

A short time later, a vision became reality: the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel was responsible for the design of the cellars and the Canadian-American architect and designer Frank Gehry created a breathtaking music pavilion. Each year, artists and architects have been invited to create site-specific works of art that blend seamlessly with the unique beauty of the Provençal landscape, with its characteristic cypresses, holm oaks, olive trees, and ancient oaks.

Since 2011, the site has welcomed guests as a luxury estate with an art center, bookstore, various restaurants, spa and, of course, the 200-acre winery, which not only has to tell a rich history dating back to Roman times, but also sells its products in its own boutique and offers regular tastings. An additional highlight was the opening of a new gourmet restaurant in April 2018 under the direction of Argentine chef Francis Mallmann.

The list of artists and architects who have created permanent works at Château La Coste is impressive: Frank O. Gehry, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Rogers, Sophie Calle, Tracey Emin and many others have enriched the property with their creativity. The latest architectural masterpiece on the site is the Pavilion-Auditorium by Oscar Niemeyer, whose curved, glazed façade leads visitors into a 380 m² gallery.

This summer Château La Coste is hosting the exhibition »Anton Corbijn: Artists & More Artists«. It is the Dutch photographer’s largest collection in France, with 40 selected black-and-white photographs of celebrities from art, music and film, including Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

Anton Corbijn’s exhibition: »Artists & More Artists«

Another spotlight is on the current exhibition of »Pierre Paulin Program:Des idées courbes, Des formes libres« – a presentation of the timeless designs of French interior and furniture designer Pierre Paulin in dialogue with the architecture of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The exhibition highlights the use of curves in the works of these two important figures of the 20th century.

Insight into the exhibition »Pierre Paulin Program:Des idées courbes, Des formes libres«

In the future, visitors can look forward to unique art presentations by Irish artist and musician Guggi, Togolese painter Afi Nayo, and the exhibition »Stay Awhile« by artist Domino Whisker. Thus,
Château La Coste remains a unique abode for art and nature lovers and all those who appreciate the mindfulness and attention to detail with which it is run. [SL]