Here’s a fun little piece of literalism for a Tuesday afternoon: Asterisk, a winery designed by the Japanese firm Sako Architects. Sited on an artificial island in a complex outside of Beijing, the building’s five prongs each house a different program — one for eating, one for boozing and so on.
The 5500sqm building is part of a luxury complex called the Park Hotel Group, which operates properties all over Asia.
Wine is increasingly in demand in China, where Western-made symbols of wealth — like Expressionist painting reproductions and Neoclassical architecture — are increasingly popular. And according to World Architecture News, most of the wineries popping up outside of Beijing are built to replicate French villas or German castles, keeping in line with the popularity of European grapes amongst Chinese drinkers. So Asterisk, then, is a kind of outlier amongst Chinese wineries (and a welcome one, I’m willing to bet).
My tolerance for iconography in architecture is pretty low, but it’s hard not to like this little gem. It’s like a polite little footnote to the landscape itself. See more on Sako’s website.