A vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina.
A vineyard estate that includes a residence, winery production facilities, and barrel-aging, bottling, and tasting rooms.
By using an existing water channel bringing runoff from the Andes as an organizational basis for the design, Field Architecture master planned the site with minimal disruption to the existing vines. Roadways and utilities—as well as two buildings, a winery and a residence—are sited along this channel to fit within the harvesting and production system of the pre-existing vineyard, and the channel provides ready access to water for production and irrigation without the need for additional infrastructure. The concrete winery building is formed by two attached sloping volumes, which house, respectively, the tasting room and public areas and the wine production facility. In the building's barrel-aging room, concrete wall and ceiling panels—achieved using a digital pattern routed into the cast concrete—mimic the impression of the wooden staves that make up wine barrels. At the other building on site, the proprietor's estate, that material language is continued with a sunscreen made from old barrel staves that wraps the upper level of the two-story house.
"At every stage of its elaboration, the project demonstrates considerable depth," Henry Urbach said, "from the site analysis, to the elaboration of the building and the program, to construction details that are actually quite poetic." But one detail did give the jury pause: the decision to use a digital file to rout the stave pattern in the winery, rather than use real staves as formwork. "It does ultimately take it down a notch," Jeanne Gang said, "just knowing that it's not as authentic as it could be."