Glass half full for Foster + Partners

Wednesday 03 Nov 2010

First winery for Foster + Partners completed in Spain's prosperous Ribera del Duero

Foster + Partners has now completed its first ever winery – Bodegas Portia for the Faustino Group in the Ribera del Duero, 150km north of Madrid. The 12,500 sq m complex is spread over three distinct wings anchored by a central operations hub at the core. These three clear projections provide separate spaces for the three main stages of wine production: fermentation in steel vats, ageing in oak barrels; and ageing in bottles.

The design team have taken full advantage of the winery’s location, sinking the wings containing the barrels and bottle cellar into the ground to create the most favourable environmental conditions for ageing the wine. In a continuation of this approach, the fermentation wing is exposed, allowing carbon dioxide to be released easily. The concrete structure is clad in shingles of Corten steel.

In order to maximise efficiency levels, the adjoining road rises to the roof of the building so that the harvested grapes can be delivered straight into the hopper, whilst the entire structure makes use of the site’s natural tilt, using gravity to aid movement of the fruit within the building.

One of the foremost wine-producing regions in the country, the history of the Ribera del Duero has become an intrinsic part of this project. All public areas of the facility have been lined with deeply stained old wine barrel slats and a range of extensive terraces and pools afford panoramic views across the surrounding vineyards. A raised public gallery at the core of the winery extends into glazed mezzanine areas, which project deep into each wing, allowing visitors to enjoy elevated views of the different processes.

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