If built, it will have onsite vineyards and winemaking facilities to produce up to five million bottles of sparkling wine per year. There will also be a visitor centre, restaurant, coffee shop, and presentation room.
The Kentish Wine Vault has been designed to sit within the landscape, meaning the majority of winemaking and bottling facilities will be positioned below ground.
It will be topped by a large curved green roof that grows out of the landscape, which aims to minimise the building’s visual impact and support local biodiversity.
Biodiversity will also be encouraged through extensive planting and “habitat creations” around the site, with new and existing walking routes woven throughout.
Foster + Partners’ proposal also includes a “sustainable transport plan”, according to the client, which will include a route for an electric shuttle bus linking to local stations.
The team also aims to make the facility zero-carbon in operation, though details of how this will be achieved are yet to be disclosed.
Plans for the Kentish Wine Vault in Cuxton are now out for public consultation before a formal planning submission is made later this year.
Foster + Partners was founded by Norman Foster in London in 1967. The Kentish Wine Vault is not the first winery it has designed.
In 2010 it built the Faustino Winery in Spain and in 2015 it added a wine-making facility to the Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux. Elsewhere in France, it will shortly reach completion on the Le Dôme winery, which is being built in the historic commune Saint-Émilion.