Point of View

A Martinborough tasting room by Makers of Architecture distils family values of integrity, quality and custodianship into the built form.

Point of View

A Martinborough tasting room by Makers of Architecture distils family values of integrity, quality and custodianship into the built form.

“Majestic.” That’s how Makers of Architecture’s Beth Cameron describes the setting at Martinborough’s Ata Rangi. The family-owned organic winery sits at the end of a gently curved driveway in a serene, park-like setting. “It has these beautiful mature trees which provide huge canopies,” the architect explains. “They filter the light and create shelter while framing the panoramic views through the trunks towards the vines and mountain ranges.” It’s a picturesque backdrop for a glass of wine.

The tasting room lies at the intersection of where the vines end and the trees begin. The dart-shaped form settles comfortably into the surrounding grove, reaching out from under the canopy to welcome visitors in for a seat at the shared table. Rich in texture with an emphasis on sustainable and natural materials, the design employs a rewarding restraint to ensure the focus remains on the environment and the experience. The architect tells us more. 

What did the clients ask for? 

Simplicity, authenticity and sustainability were among the main requests. They wanted to create the “Ata Rangi tasting experience” with intimate family-style hosting and local identity. A host of functional and compliance-based requirements were also included, ensuring the building would be flexible in use and long-lasting. 

How did you approach the design? 

It was important that while the tasting room was to be modern and simple in form, it also had to relate to and draw on the elemental/local/humble vernacular surrounding it to establish a sense of belonging and familiarity. This was achieved through observing local agricultural and small industrial buildings, notably low-maintenance, Zincalume-clad simplistic forms and colonial-esque, small weatherboard cottages with gable roof forms, verandah shelters and colonnaded posts. The surrounding environment also played a huge role in the rhythmic proportions and detailing, drawing on the repetitive vines, significant tree trunks and canopies that share the site.

Can you talk to the materiality? 

Sustainable, healthy, non-toxic, natural materials were prioritised throughout, while surfaces also needed to be resilient. The exposed natural timbers and hand-applied interior plasterwork will allow the building to age gracefully and with honesty, while rusticated weatherboard and corrugated Zincalume roofing will continue to grey and soften, adding to the building’s character and narrative over time. 

How did you want it to feel? 

Welcoming, memorable (as a spatial identity) and warm with a sense of generosity, natural belonging, finesse and connection. The space needed to feel inspired, crafted and unique – just like the wine. 

Makers and Ata Rangi share strong values in sustainability. How did that translate in the design?

In many forms. Where possible, all materials were natural, New Zealand or locally sourced, with priority given to renewable, non-treated cypress timbers. Incorporating timber grown by Clive, Ata Rangi’s co-founder, was particularly special. He felled, dried and milled his Lawson cypress stand for use in the tasting room’s flooring, decking and interior joinery. 

Wine aside, what’s the best bit? 

Experiencing it! The grounds, the wine, the spatial volume, dappled light, open doors, the warm people – this list goes on. What a privilege. 

Ata Rangi

Open 7 days (by appointment) 



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