Magnate McKillen's passion for art adds body to his winery
Paddy McKillen may be known as one of Ireland's most successful property investors, but, in an interview due for publication in the Wall Street Journal this Friday, the Belfast-born businessman may well have revealed his true ambition.
"I'm probably the most frustrated architect or artist; I can't draw a straight line - I leave that to the experts," McKillen says for a feature on Chateau La Coste, the 600-acre estate he owns in the heart of Provence, France.
Since acquiring the property in 2002, McKillen has transformed the original family-owned estate and vineyard into an organic winery, and art and architecture park, featuring the works of 26 of the world's leading architects and artists.
"I just love being around artists," he says of his passion for art. "If you asked me what would be my best Saturday afternoon, it would be to spend it in an artist's studio."
Commenting on the careful manner in which the works of artists such as Sean Scully and renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando are placed within Chateau La Coste's grounds, he adds: "The last structures on the land were built by the Romans, so I was very careful to respect every tree, every blade of grass and every herb."