Domaine de l'Hortus

Location Domaine de l'Hortus 34270 Valflaunès France
Building Year 2015–2017
Architect Michèle Orliac & Miquel Batlle
Structural Design Tallfusta
Constructor Tallfusta
Customer Domaine de l'Hortus
Products Used Kerto LVL
End-Use Walls and ceilings

Domaine de l'Hortus – wooden colonnades made from Kerto LVL to winery’s buildings

The buildings of Domaine de l'Hortus, a winery and vineyard in France, has wooden colonnades made from Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). It is an ecological, economic and visual solution highlighting the best in wood construction.

The winery and vineyard of Domaine de l'Hortus has operated in Valflaunès, France, close to Montpellier since 1978. The valley is situated in between the Mediterranean and the Cevennes mountain range making it a perfect home for grapes. 

In 2020, the winery’s wood construction was acknowledged with a respected national award, Prix National de la Construction Bois, in the category of ’Work and reception’, in France. Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL is used in three of the buildings; namely the office, hangar and storage. The hangar is used to store the machines and in labelling the wine bottles, and the wine bottle storage will be turned to a restaurant later on.

Architecture and landscape planning

Blended in nature

The many buildings of Domaine de l'Hortus blend in the landscape under the mountain of Pic Saint-Loup. The architecture of the buildings looks very natural and light. This is due to the requirements of the construction site, which is classified and protected. The architectural principles have stayed the same over the years.  

”When we designed the first buildings of the vineyard in the 1980’s, we chose wood as a material, because of ecological, economic and visual reasons. We do have the same kind of wooden frame and use mainly wood in all of the buildings,” says Michèle Orliac, Architect at Michèle&Miquel. She has designed the architecture and done the landscape planning of Domaine de l'Hortus together with Miquel Batlle.

The blending effect of the buildings is made with many things. Trees give cover as the narrow-framed buildings have been constructed in between the trees in a slope. As Kerto LVL is a light material, it is perfect for narrow spaces. Wood in itself blends nicely with the trees and is used to cover the glass windows and ceilings in many of the buildings. The exterior wooden parts are made of wood to protect the buildings from heat.

Load-bearing structure

Covered colonnades from Kerto LVL

The load-bearing structure of the office, hangar and storage is a wooden colonnade made from Kerto LVL. It has a series of columns at regular intervals, which are covered with panels. In the office and storage the columns are placed at every other metre.

”In the hangar, the columns are spaced at bit longer intervals compared to the office and storage as the bigger building needs to support bigger loads,” says Ignasi Caus, Manager at Tallfusta and refers to the loads of the building and wind and rain. Kerto LVL was chosen because of its excellent strength properties. It enables long-spans and thinner structure. 

Tallfusta is a family company from Spain. They have designed the wooden structures of the office, hangar and storage, and also machined the beams and panels and constructed the buildings fast. Kerto LVL is easy to process with CNC machines. Tallfusta has done lengthy collaboration with Metsä Wood and they are pleased with prompt Kerto LVL deliveries. 

The wooden colonnades are made from Kerto LVL

  • Domaine-de-l-hortus-carousel
  • Domaine-de-l-hortus-barrels
  • Domaine-de-l-hortus-structures

Strong connections & Fire-safety

Bolts and screws

Standard bolts and screws make the timber-to-timber-connections strong. Steel parts and bolts are needed in other connections.

According to regulations

The buildings were constructed according to national fire safety regulations. The columns and ceilings made from Kerto LVL have a 30 minutes fire resistance. 

The building is also sprinklered. 

  • Domaine-de-l-hortus-columns
  • Domaine-de-l-hortus-connections


Tallfusta has cooperated with Metsä Wood for a long time and used Kerto LVL in various construction projects. The understanding of the benefits of wood construction in the Spanish market is also growing as is the use of LVL. 

”Kerto LVL is a strong material with a competitive price, and it is easy to machine. The experts at Metsä Wood are also happy to share their expertise,” says Caus. 

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