MURDER IN MARSEILLES
One of Aix-en-Provence's greatest attractions lies exactly ten miles out of town. It's a winery. Yes, but... It's an art centre. Yes, but... It's both, and more than that. It's CHATEAU LA COSTE, a vineyard set in a beautiful hilly landscape that is dotted with world-class architecture and works of art. This is where in 2002 Irish businessman Patrick (Paddy) Mc Killen bought the existing La Coste winery near the village of Le Puy Ste Réparade to indulge his two passions: wine-making and creating a center for contemporary art. Today, fifteen years later, the gradual conversion to organic vines is complete, and the latest building by a renowned architect (Renzo Piano's exhibition hall) has just been opened to the public, following buildings by such star architects as Tadao Ando, Jean Nouvel, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, and Frank Gehry's music pavilion. Two more buildings are planned: one by the firm of legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and another by British architect Richard Rogers (who together with Renzo Piano designed the revolutionary Centre Pompidou in Paris). This year also saw the opening of a 5-star hotel-spa on the grounds, with a restaurant run by chef Gérald Passedat of three-Michelin-star fame in Marseilles.
|Louise Bourgeois: Crouching Spider|
|Renzo Piano exposition hall|
|Tom Shannon's Drop|
|Paul Matisse's Meditation Bell|
As you follow the narrow tree-lined path back, past the music pavilion towards the underground parking, the Bell may whisper in your ear: "Stop at the Terrasse for a refreshing glass of rosé. You deserve it."
My advice: Don't fight the Bell's wisdom.