WHO David Erdman and Clover Lee

INTERIOR DESIGNERS Erdman and Lee founded davidcloversin the United States in 2007, before relocating to Hong Kong in 2009. The design firm hassince completed six projects, including the Tregunter Residence,which earned the team a Perspective Award for Interior Designin 2011. Several of its projects are now under construction, including Butterfly House in the US, a 37-storey residential tower in Hong Kong, and a 22.3-hectare parking garage ceilingand nine pavilions for a commissionin Zhuhai.


If you're still holding fast to the idea that a wine cellar has to be cramped, dark, dusty and underground, clearly you don't know what HK$28 million can get you.

David Erdman and Clover Lee, the eponymous founders of design firm davidclovers, have come up with a wine storage solution that not only keeps your prized vintages safe, but also enhances the sharing and socialising aspect of wine appreciation. To begin with, the design duo didn't relegate the room to its customary location underground, but rather, positioned it atop an entire building. "This is a wine-tasting and storage pavilion that's situated on the top of a residential project podium," Lee explains.

The pavilion spans two levels and is sectioned into several areas designated for storage, tasting and even aesthetics.

The lower level, which Erdman describes as "cave-like", is divided into three areas, each set at a different temperature. This ensures that the wines can be stored at the optimal temperature.

The bottles are arranged along the walls within easy reach, and there are also shelves to store entire cases of wine. The pièce de resistance of this level, however, is the central wine display. Empty bottles are arranged on a sculptural platform, and through the clever use of lighting, the display becomes "a glowing island ... throwing wine-infused light onto the ceiling", Lee says.

Curved around this glowing display is a floating staircase, framed by vertical slats in vivid berry hues. The pavilion owner can access the upper level through this staircase and enter the pavilion's tasting area. Here, a large, sleek tasting table takes pride of place in the airy atrium, with natural light filtering in through the skylight on the ceiling. There are more storage shelves conveniently located around the table, so that the owner can place selected bottles within easy reach if they have a tasting party. This area also extends to a completely outdoors area, which provides the perfect setting for larger events.

The versatile design means that the pavilion may even be shared among multiple residents, with interested parties keeping their favourite wines in designated storage sections.

The designers also suggest that the upper podium be used as a retail space. "We had the idea to include a larger wine-tasting programme," Erdman says. Residents using the wine pavilion could curate a limited selection of vintages every few months, and these wines would then be sold by the glass at an area outside the pavilion.

"Since the project is located on top of a residential building, we thought it would be nice that, while it could be exclusive with regards to storage, the tasting can have a bigger impact on the residents, even if they don't have a collection stored here," Lee explains. After all, she says, "the best wines are those that are shared."

A large, sleek tasting table takes pride of place in the airy atrium, with natural light filtering in through the skylight on the ceiling. Illustration: David Clovers