Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chateau La Coste

Add to Google Reader or HomepageThere are so many places to visit in Provence. There are, of course, all of the major attractions listed in the tour guides but there are other sites/locations to discover and enjoy.

During our time in the states, Ellen collects news features from which we can learn more about France. My eldest sister also sends items from the New York Times that she thinks might  interest us.

When Bruce and Judy were visiting from Paris, Ellen pulled out her folder of newspaper clippings and we decided to go to a little village just north of Aix-en-Provence to visit a winery/architectural showcase. The winery is called “Chateau La Coste” and is now owned by Belfast-born Patrick McKillen. In addition to producing some fine wines (big reds, amazing rosés) and olive oil, the owner invited works from internationally-renowned architects including Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and sculptures from Richard Serra and Louise Bourgeois… According to Lanie Goodman in her article in the New York Times Magazine, Sept. 22, 2011, still to come are more structures by Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano. Not mentioned in the article is a mobile by Alexander Calder placed in a reflecting pond just outside of the café on the grounds. There is also a small sculpture that resembles Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” (the Bean) in Chicago. The bean sprout/flying saucer called “The Drop” was created by Tom Shannon.

"The Drop" by Tom Shannon

Ellen in front of the mobile by Calder

Every aspect of the architecture seems to have been designed for good “feng shui.” The winery, the architecture and the sculptures create a peaceful, welcoming setting.

"The Spider" by Louise Bourgeois

Gehry's Music Pavillion as seen from behind "The Drop"

"Infinity" by Sugimpoto (on the left)

-If readers have other suggestions for day trips, PLEASE add them to “Comments.”