29 May 2015
An entirely unique Chilean property, Viña Vik represents an artistic voyage in itself: master paintings, colourful architecture, wine warehouses carved into the landscape like a piece of land art. A must-visit.
A titanium bird clings to the hillside. Inspired by Frank O. Gehry’s silvery canvases in Bilbao and sculptures by Richard Serra, architect Marcelo Daglio has dreamed up an enormous contemporary residence on the headland: at his feet are six hills and 4500 hectares of vineyards that make up this half-arid, half-Tuscan countryside. Beyond, the Andes mountains border this landscape.
The fourth hotel belonging to the Vik family – named after Alex and Carrie Vik, wealthy international entrepreneurs established from New York to Norway – Viña Vik is their first Chilean address, while their three other hotels are dotted around José Ignacio, which is considered to be the St Tropez of Uruguay.
More than simply a hotel, Viña Vik is a collector’s home. Situated around a central framework, two concrete corridors are reminiscent of Japanese architecture of Tadao Ando. Facing one another, two large glass spaces (the living room and dining room) surround a central patio: here, beds of petunias and clumps of boxwood encircle two Japanese bonsai trees. At the centre of the hotel, light fixtures and the sky offer a breath of fresh air through the iridescent rooftop.
As the first room that you enter, the living room is laid out around four vintage sofas decked out in modern or contemporary styles, in either sober or colourful shades. Two Moroso Amoroso armchairs designed by Javier Mariscal 1995 adds a graphic black-and-white touch. As the backdrop, an immense dysticada from Anselm Kiefer from the “Secret Life of Plants” series takes on a museum-like quality, shouldering the décor with an unequalled stature: on the opposite wall, an expressive painting by famous Chilean artists Roberto Matta responds to this with such confidence. In the adjoining area, a canvas by contemporary Chilean painter Sami Benmayor reflects a patchwork tailor-made library: different essences of wood create a geometric and abstract piece.
On both sides of the building, two corridors of bedrooms offer a higher chance to display the works of international painters and artists. Each bedroom has a personality: whether it be an Hermès square as a headboard, fashion photographs stuck up in the bathroom, pastel colours of painter Cristian Abelli or the presence of disparate azulejos in the sink, all these influences are rich, unexpected and highly creative.
Drawn by architect Smiljan Radic, designer of the latest pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery in London, the “chai” or winery conceals itself amongst the vines as a simple white line. Past a concrete enclosure, a body of water dotted with blocks of stone transforms itself into an open-air artistic installation. Stroll along as if you were in a museum, and you will soon be enraptured by the organic characteristics of the depths of the winery, where thousands of French wood kegs have accumulated. Slightly younger vintages, like the grands crus age here, sheltered from the Chilean sunshine. It’s time for a tasting!