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Designcubed completes £5.5m Sussex winery

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] London-based practice Designcubed and designer Martin Swatton has completed this 1,700m² winery in East Sussex

Designcubed’s Rathfinny Winery was carried out in collaboration with designer Martin Swatton who created the initial concept scheme for the project.

The £5.5 million building features a green roof and contains facilities for wine production as well as hospitality and staff spaces.

The practice is continuing to work for the Rathfinny Estate, renovating and extending an old barn into accommodation for seasonal workers and visitors. This project is due to complete in May this year.

Eventually the growing Sussex winery aims to produce more than one million bottles of wine each year, planting 1.6 million m² of vines by 2020.

Designcubed Rathfinny Winery

The architect’s view

The building nestles within the lee of the Cuckmere valley (East Sussex) and is overlooked by the South Down’s Way. A curving roof profile planted with a local mixture of down-land wildflowers creates a new, elevated meadow helping the building blend into the surrounding farmland.

Rathfinny winery embraces the energy hierarchy to ensure a long lasting sustainable design and construction that is appropriate and sensitive to its surroundings. Passive and technological measures have been applied that not only provide significant carbon savings but also solve challenging problems associated with lack of mains services, remote location, unusual operating patterns and unconventional thermal load profiles. 

Designcubed Rathfinny Winery

Project data

Location Alfriston, East Sussex, UK
Type of project winery
Client Mark and Sarah Driver
Architect Designcubed & Martin Swatton Design
Landscape consultant David Hares
Structural engineers VKHP Consulting
M&E consultant Desco Ltd
Quantity surveyor Appleyard & Trew
Planning consultants Parker Dann Chartered Town & planning Consultants
Lighting consultant Desco
Main contractor Sunninghill Construction Co Limited
Specialist interiors consultant Susie Atkinson
Winery process design Gerard De Villiers, Kelinwood Vinyard SA
Funding private
Tender date July 2014
Start on site date November 2012
Completion date  December 2013
Contract duration 12 Months
Gross internal floor area 1649m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Design and Build
Total cost £5.5 million
Annual predicted CO2 emissions 26.9 kgCO2/m²
Annual energy demand for heating and cooling 33.04 kWh/m²
Annual CO2 emissions for heating and cooling 17.1 kgCO2/m²
Annual energy from renewable sources 20.74 kWh/m²
Specific environmental targets EPC B

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