More than a piéce de résistance


By Ntsako Khosa
Full-bodied, mature and refined characterise a good wine; a Franschhoek winery takes this a step further by creating a winery that embodies all three attributes.

Martin Smith, co-owner and winemaker of Pasarene Winery, wanted the new home of his high-end boutique wines to reflect the authenticity of the Pasarene brand and the artistic style of its wine labels.

Etienne Stols from SCS Architects was contracted to design a space that would live in harmony with its surrounding landscape and that means sustainable and eco-friendly materials. It is no surprise that he specified home-grown Rhino Wood for all the timber installations both inside and outside.

“Materials need to live in harmony as well as be authentic. Modified Rhino Wood ticks all the boxes,” says Andrew Prior, sales director at Rhino Wood. This timber plays a role in creating a contemporary location displaying its creative application.

Sourced locally, about six tons of timber was used and installed by TopDecks Creative Timber Structures. “The challenge of turning six tons of this natural timber into the vision specified by the architects and the owner is incredibly rewarding,” says Lourens Jonker, contractor at TopDecks.

The structure

Light Rhino Wood cladding shapes a modern-style cryptoporticus; a steel and laminated Rhino Wood beam structure naturally extends the beautiful interior and pre-cut, customised boards join into wow-worthy tongue and groove ceiling panels that contrast stylishly with white panels. The pièce de résistance however is the curved steel and timber pergola along the side of the building that not only creates a unique architectural dimension, but also filters sunlight and helps to control the interior temperature.

Minimal maintenance is required because of Rhino Wood’s unique and patented two-stage modification process that includes both thermal modification and pressure-impregnation to the core of the timber using a patented, chemical-free, natural wax compound. “The wax impregnation,” says Prior, “adds another layer of protection against wood destroying fungus, insects and rot.“

And who says that grey is not the new black? Concludes Prior, “Another great outdoor feature of low-maintenance rhino wood is that it weathers into a gorgeous grey patina over time.”

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