Zoltán Varró established Varrodesign 20 years ago. The acknowledgements of the highly ranked competitions of New York and Hong Kong awarding hotels and restaurants made several Hungarian hotels well known worldwide – thanks to his job. Honourable for us that we can regard him the friend of the family and that with the help of him many important venues of Villány renewed.
Which are the most important locations of the complex?
The central building of the winery has the character of a real rural country house. I transformed the tasting hall such way that the venues reflect this classic set up and atmosphere. The salon and the diner are obligatory elements in this aspect. My favourite – which is also a joke and makes the venue amazing beyond the classic design solutions – is the wine library, in which wines can be seen on the shelves instead of books.
Beside the depicting of the hospitality of the family that was also important for me to introduce the prestige and manhood of Attila and the lightness and femininity of Andrea at the same time. Since this can be found in their wines too and we really like and value this in them. In the salon I used turquoise blue furniture – this is one of the favourite colours of Andrea – but in the wine library darker colours dominate. This way I depict both personalities here.
Here is another element which is especially kind for me and brings uniqueness into the interior. When I first designed how I imagine the estate I made a hand drawing. Originally I meant it only for a sketch. Then we made the unique wall carpets, cushions based on this. Again that came into my mind that the famous wineries of the world depict their central building on the labels. Now we did this with a unique textile which belongs here and can be found only here.
Beside of the tasting hall the garden changed greatly too. We live in the 21st century and I like to insert such things into my work which are really compatible with Instagram and Facebook. On the terrace we built an open-air fireplace and two armchairs made from limestone.
Not only the furniture make this venue interesting but also the connection that its environment meant. I think the sight is the nicest from here to the determining vineyard of Villány (Kopár) and to Szársomlyó hill. Practically we composed a frame, a painting with the terrace and the sight in the background. For me this is what Gere estate means.
How then Gere Jazz followed?
When we did the modification – as I mentioned – the final deadline was the date of Gere Jazz. I remember in the last days we worked parallel: one team built the stage and we were busy with the final steps. We stayed on the event. I deal with scenic design for a long time too. I made set scenes forseveral programs of RTL and Hungarian TV, I directed and designed many concerts too.
When the Festival ended, we sit together with Andrea and discussed the experiences, what we think were assets and also those elements which still need some improvements. A year later they asked us to be part of the project and last year we designed the whole festival scene.
What was your approach in this task?
When we worked on the building it went well because we could concentrate on two things: the guests and the hosts. When we dealt with Gere Jazz we followed the same method. The central questions were: why the guests come here? Why this event is unique?
We decided to leave the festival characteristic. Instead of this we had to organize the best garden party ever. Since we arrive to a beautiful venue here for the invitation of a family with fantastic wines, meals and naturally: music. We saw on the guests that this atmosphere is that which brings them back. For the direct, loose atmosphere we brought the musicians closer to the guests to be a little bit like as they play the music for them at home.
We did not only concentrate for the stage scene. We considered the whole area as a set scene. We wanted the guests to be part of the scene and do not feel that the performance goes in front of them but rather they be part of the event.
The latest topic is the renewing of several venues of the hotel. What happened this Spring?
Since we finished the renewal of the estate the issue is to carry on with the mutual work. The date of the renewal was hard to find. Now when the obligatory, temporal stop came the chance was given suddenly. We refreshed the restaurant, the breakfast hall and the lobby.
There was no concept change we keep the aspect what we started with the estate centre. We took the unique estate pattern textile into the lobby and we kept the dual design: brown colour, the leather furniture contra the cheerful, flower patterns and motifs. I am happy to had the chance to be part of this too, because the guests who visit Villány can experience that unified visual world which reflects the values of Gere family.