The following story originally appeared in The Architect's Newspaper. It features Detroit’s House of Pure Vin, which was designed by Assistant Professor of Practice Christian Unverzagt and his firm, M1/DTW.
Detroit’s House of Pure Vin lets visitors wine in style
By: Ali Oriaku
House of Pure Vin is a minority-owned wine shop in downtown Detroit contributing to the revival of the city’s historic Woodward Avenue. Architect Christian Unverzagt from M1/DTW helped transform the 3,000-square-foot space into a sophisticated wine tasting shop and tourist attraction.
Unverzagt converted a twisted and irregular retail space into a series of smaller rooms—including a climate-controlled champagne room, recessed retail nook, and tasting room—to provide a sense of visual clarity and allow the space to slowly unfold to reveal new activities to visitors.
The shop holds over 4,000 bottles of wine, displaying the majority of them within a wall of cardboard tubes typically used for manufacturing. The tubes serve as wine racks, an eye-catching way to store the bottles sideways and shield them from light.
Cork is used for various surfaces within the shop, including the walls and cash wrap, acting as a warm contrast to the black steel and industrial materials elsewhere in the store.