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31 Aug 2021
New champagne visitor attraction by Casson Mann and Atelier Phileas takes visitors on a journey 'from the earth to the bubble'
By Tom Walker
New champagne visitor attraction by Casson Mann and Atelier Phileas takes visitors on a journey 'from the earth to the bubble'
The visitor attraction is located at a former pressoir (winepress)
Photo: Casson Mann
A new visitor attraction and cultural destination, located at the foot of the historic slopes of Aÿ-Champagne commune, is taking a fresh approach to exploring the history of champagne.

Pressoria – designed by Casson Mann and Atelier Phileas Architecture – blends original heritage architecture and contemporary interiors with sensory and digital installations and event spaces to present the culture of the appellation.

Described as a sensory experience that blends elements of old and new, the visitor attraction is located in a former winepress.

The building has been transformed into a contemporary space, in which architectural elements and playful technology deliver an exhibition and tasting experience framed by light and space, landscape and history, art and science.

As well as the exhibits and attractions, the destination features a large bar, restaurant and retailing – all intended to explore and promote champagne.

​​Located across two floors, Pressoria takes visitors on a journey 'from the earth to the bubble'.

Designed for both tourists and locals – and champagne connoisseurs and newbies – the architects' brief was to create a visually poetic journey through the elemental and cultural nature of champagne.

The sensory installations have been devised to offer an immersive experience that engages the senses and reveals the heart of champagne.

On the ground floor, visitors can explore a series of objects and digital installations that explain the elemental basis of champagne and its terroir: chalk, rain, sun, and the deep vine roots, which tie champagne production to the area.

A monolithic chalk sculpture testifies to the influence of chalk on the land and vines, while a digital installation tells the story of the geology and geography that has shaped the land and soil.

Elsewhere, an exhibit explores the scent of champagne blossoms – a famously short-lived event that visitors can now experience in an installation.

Across the attraction, projection-mapped animations and interactives invite the visitor to become part of the land, the vines, the harvest, and the effervescence.

Gary Shelley, director of Casson Mann, said: "Pressoria is a unique sensory experience that celebrates champagne and its relationship to the land, the people and to place.

"After 18 months of development, we’re thrilled that visitors have the opportunity to discover the story of champagne and enjoy this beautiful location.

"The apex of the visitor experience is the walk-in, wrap-around-cinema, celebrating ‘bubbles’ as a joyful expression of the essence of champagne."

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