David Thulstrup’s Wine Tasting Venue in Sonoma Frames an Impressive Art Collection With Calming Simplicity
“I am extremely passionate about making people feel at home,” says Danish architect David Thulstrup, who recently applied this residential warmth towards the reconfiguration of a hospitality destination in Sonoma, California.
The 3,800-square-foot Donum Home, a wine tasting, dining, and entertainment venue by MH Architects, is located on the grounds of The Donum Estate, a pinot noir producer in the area. Open to in-person tastings by appointment, the 200-acre vineyard is also a contemporary art destination, with 40 large-scale, open-air sculptures by world-renowned artists such as Ai Weiwei, Keith Haring, Subodh Gupta, and Doug Aitken.
A visit to Aitken’s “Sonic Mountain,” an installation of 365 wind chimes nestled in a eucalyptus grove, “sparked the idea of implementing screens that can filter light,” says Thulstrup, the founder of Studio David Thulstrup (and also the design-eye behind the farm-style buildings at Noma, the Copenhagen-based restaurant continuously lauded as one of the best in the world). To partition a hallway from tasting rooms in Donum Home, he conceived a series of rattan screens, adding two tasting rooms for a total of five. The new tasting rooms are just in time for the wine producer’s debut of a new sparkling wine, the 2016 Donum Blanc de Blancs.
Large glass openings connect the interior to sweeping panoramic views of the sculpture park and the region’s signature rolling hills while Californian granite and American walnut are the materials of choice for generously long and wide custom tables. “What I like about stone and wood is that they are honest, unpretentious, and approachable,” Thulstrup reveals.
For the wine producer’s collection of rare contemporary art—with works by Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, and Jeppe Hein, among others—custom oak wall panels generate a clean backdrop. Thulstrup added a new commission, “Grapes,” a large tactile vase by Danish artist Lene Bødker. “It integrates the actual leaves and fruits of the vines,” he notes.