Sandstone, ceramics and glass: the ingredients for a perfect winery

All can be found in Spanish firm Virai Arquitectos' Bodega La Grajera

by Malcolm Clark
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The institutional winery LA GRAJERA designed by VIRAI arquitectos and completed in the summer of 2011 is located a few kilometres from the city of Logroño, in Spain. Its architecture is the outcome of a careful compromise between the need to announce its presence and the will be surrounded by the countryside.

The volumes making up the building follow the land deformations, approaching the forest without penetrating it.

The winery's production area is located in a compact building which stands out for the presence of a large semi-basement with a sandstone foundation, which becomes an integral part of the landscape as it rises.

The institutional area of the winery is designed as a large yet light volume made with dark ceramics and glass. To increase the protection against the sun for the large glazed fronts of the pavilion, shutters made of a material behaving homogeneously both on opaque and transparent surfaces were necessary.

The administrative offices on the other hand are housed in a medium sized tower. They have a twin function of completing the whole complex and of generating a public pedestrian space connecting the various volumes and the respective functions. From the square you can admire the forest and the natural landscape.

In order to maintain the harmony with the place and with the climate where the winery is located, simple bioarchitecture solutions have been employed. Exploiting the inclination of the land along with the vegetation covered inclined roof of the production area, increases thermal insulation of the land, while at the same time merging it into the landscape.

The inhabitable area of the winery faces south, giving it plenty of natural light, while the orientation of the building provides natural ventilation and protects the fermentation areas below the ground which therefore reduces the need for mechanical ventilation.

The careful choice of materials used ensured that the brilliant exterior contrasted with the dark interiors: attention to detail is the purpose followed in all the spaces, from those for brewing the wine to those for tasting.



    Logroño / Spain / 2011