Château La Coste: Art and Architecture in Provence
Robert Ivy, Alistair Hicks, Tadao Ando (Foreword), Alan Karchmer (Photography)
Château La Coste, near Aix-en-Provence, is a unique property that combines sculptural artworks by leading contemporary artists alongside works by some of the world’s best-known architects, all within the grounds of a working organic vineyard. Since 2004 the estate, which occupies an ancient site, has been transformed into an exceptional plein-air museum, and the number of installations grows every year.
The spreading collection lies within the walk of a spectacular Art Centre, designed by the world-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. On the reflecting pool in front of the building is one of Louise Bourgeois’ giant arachnoid sculptures, Crouching Spider. To the north lies a futuristic winery by Jean Nouvel. By taking one of several routes to the south or west, the visitor encounters such monumental installations as Sean Scully’s sculpture of stacked blocks of limestone, Wall of Light Cubed; Richard Serra’s steel sheets, AIX; and Oak Room by Andy Goldsworthy, a cave of interwoven oak branches, integrated into an old stone wall. Installations by Liam Gillick, Kengo Kuma, Paul Matisse, Sophie Calle and many others punctuate the pathways. And by an ancient Roman route, Ai Weiwei has created another new path up the hillside, using paving stones salvaged from the renovated port at Marseilles. Overlooking the site is a 16th-century chapel restored by Ando and enclosed by a framework of steel and glass. The music and exhibition pavilions, close to the ‘village’ of buildings at the heart of the property, have been designed by Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano respectively.
In this stunning new book, Robert Ivy of the American Institute of Architects and the curator Alistair Hicks explore each work of architecture and art installation in depth. Their insightful commentaries are accompanied by specially commissioned photographs by the acclaimed architectural photographer Alan Karchmer. The book is arranged into sections covering all areas of the property, so that the reader is able to experience and discover Château La Coste as a visitor would. In the introduction, Ivy relates the conception, creation and further development of Château La Coste by its owner, Patrick McKillen; while, to conclude the book, Hicks considers the site’s ever-increasing exhibition programme. Throughout the pages, the reader will feel transported to idyllic Provence, to this most remarkable and significant collection of modern and contemporary art and architecture.