Cyprus Wine Museum Extension | Spaces of Culture, Experience, and Accommodation

Preliminary Design
Location: Erimi, Cyprus
Year: 2023
Client: The Cyprus Wine Museum
Area: Building Area: 550m², Site: 1.200m²


XZA – Architects



Theoni Xanthi,

Margarita Zakynthinou -Xanthi,

Spiros Giotakis


The Cypriot Wine Museum, located in the heart of the wine-producing countryside in the historic village of Erimi, combines the history and production of wine with the culture and heritage of the region. It has been established in 2004 by owner Anastasia Guy, who transformed a stone building, formerly an inn for wine merchants, into a multidimensional cultural space. The building houses an exhibition on the history of wine, tasting areas, and two outdoor courtyards for music and cultural events.

The museum’s location coincides with a point marking the beginning of vine vineyards and wine production in Europe, with ancient roots dating back more than 5,500 years. It highlights Cyprus’ rich and timeless winemaking heritage.

The Cypriot Wine Museum presents the wine production process from antiquity to the present, showcasing how wine and Commandaria became a way of life, fostering trade relationships and cultural interactions with other Mediterranean people. Housed in a 150-year-old stone building that once served as an inn for wine merchants, the museum embodies the founder’s family history.

The approach to the new extension and addition to a traditionally designed building attempts a juxtaposition of the new and the old in terms of form and materiality. Simultaneously, it proposes a fusion of living styles regarding scale, passages, relationship with nature, shading, light, courtyard preservation, and semi-outdoor spaces.

The architectural proposal involves expanding the wine museum and creating a new three-story building. The placement of the new structure adjacent to the existing one stands discreetly, assuming new functions that enhance the visitor’s experience. The unified facade aims for visual abstraction, accentuating the stone building as a backdrop.

The addition plays a crucial role in improving the functionality and value of the building, offering a modern and functional solution for user needs. The new building “opens up” at street level, inviting visitors into the reception area. At the courtyard level, it rises from the ground as a pilotis, allowing the preservation of the existing stone courtyard and creating a small spa area. On the upper floors, the new building connects to the existing one with bridges, forming seven suites ranging from 30 to 50 sqm each, with balconies for visitors’ accommodation. Finally, on the rooftop, there is a semi-outdoor refreshment area and a swimming pool.

This addition seeks to combine the modern needs of visitors with the existing structure, offering a multifaceted experience that encompasses wine and its history, the culture of wine, flavors and winemaking, interactions and events, festivals and music, meetings and interaction, relaxation and accommodation, cool semi-outdoor spaces, and sunny courtyards, all of which are essentially the environmental elements of this proposal.