Caro’s Grey Lynn


Caro’s Wines Limited


14 Mackelvie Street
Grey Lynn
New Zealand

Completion Date

May 2016

The new Caro’s Grey Lynn wine store builds on the concept for the original store in Parnell completed in 2004 and for which the Caro brothers have claimed the ‘Metro Best of Auckland’ for 11 years running.

The original store featured pine as the primary material, which references the boxes used to ship fine wine. This is translated in the Grey Lynn store into pine ply as a more deliberate industrial material suited to the gritty Grey Lynn environment.

The ground floor now houses the retail and stock space in the simple pine joinery set off by the exotic glass fine wine room. All are housed within and set against the ‘as found’ 1960s building carcase. The layout is a careful evolution of the Parnell store and subtle but important operational adjustments have been made.

The upper floor, a remaining natural cathedral, accommodates a wine tasting room where Caro’s fine wine offer is demonstrated and enjoyed by enthusiasts. This pine lined (in boards approximately a barrel stave width) room can accommodate up to sixty guests and is supplemented with AV and some small catering facilities.

The entire approach to the building and presence to the street has been remodelled with a strip charred larch façade that lends the frontage style and dark gravitas. The choice of material is not coincidental. Red wine barrels are typically ‘toasted’, a process where their insides are charred before the wine is aged.

Like the use of pine in the joinery, and the barrel stave width pine linings of the tasting room, the charred larch demonstrates our approach to design which, through curiosity and research add real depth of meaning to material selection and crafted assembly.

2017 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards – Bronze Award – Retail
2016 Designers Institute of NZ Best Award – Gold – Retail Environments

John Caro and I have been best friends for over 45 years. Just as I trust John (Director of Caro’s Wines) with wine, he just lets me get on with the design.

Richard Goldie