1001 Uses for a Shipping Container #199: A Shipping Container Vineyard Observatory

Number 199 in our series of novel uses for shipping containers is this amazing installation built as a visitor centre for a vineyard. Located on the East coast of Tasmania, the ‘Devil’s Corner Cellar Door and Lookout’ is a fantastic example of modern shipping container architecture.

Building design using shipping containers

It was designed by Cumulus Studio for Brown Brothers, an Australian wine company, and provides a tourism experience and retail outlets for their extensive vineyard. This venue is used for wine tastings and the design of the buildings highlight the aspects of the landscape that contribute to the wine produced there. The clear skies and constant sunshine are highlighted by the ‘sky lookout’, the ‘horizon bridge’ allows views of the nearby coastline, and the ‘lookout tower’ showcases the ideal wine-growing environment. We particularly like the use of containers stacked on their ends to create the tower, and the angular ‘sky lookout’ created by cutting a container diagonally and re-joining it.

The structures provide shelter from the heat of the area and gives viewpoints to the landscape of the vineyard and surrounding area, with views of the coastline. As you can see in the pictures the landscape of the area is fantastic and the views across it to the ocean must be amazing!

A total of 10 shipping containers were used in construction of the tower and courtyard buildings. This building method was selected to give the structural integrity that was needed and allow much of the steelwork to be done off-site. The time-lapse video below shows the on-site construction and shows how the use of containers made for a relatively quick and easy build:



Innovative design using shipping containers

The impressive lookout tower is made from containers placed on end, with staircases and viewing points built in and timber cladding to the exterior. Timber clad shipping containers have also been used to make a courtyard space for tasting and retail space. Each of the containers was modified in different ways, the ‘sky lookout’ was made from a container cut into 2 and reassembled, the tower itself made from 2 containers placed end on end and modified with an internal staircase, viewing areas and external cladding. It even has a polished stainless steel ceiling which makes it look as if it goes up forever when standing inside! The ‘horizon’ bridge provides a raised entrance to the viewing tower and has one side removed to allow stunning views from this walkway.

This construction makes a feature of it’s use of shipping containers. The original container walls are on display throughout much of the structures both internally and externally, very appropriate considering much of the wine produced will take a trip in a shipping container before ending up in someone’s glass!

All materials credited to Cumulus Studio, all images © Tanja Milbourne

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