Wine Time...

Photovoltaics, gravitational reliance and thermal inertia.

Not your standard wine making terminology, granted, but inspired techniques employed to great effect by Norman Foster in designing the groundbreaking Grupo Faustino owned Portia Wineries in Gumiel de Izán, Spain.

Its striking design is based on the three stages in winemaking: fermentation in stainless steel tanks, ageing in oak casks, and bottle ageing.  These stages determine the building's three volumes and are controlled by the operations centre at the heart of the building... the materials used also relate to the materials inherent in producing wine: concrete, steel and glass.

Foster + Partners approach here was to completely review the winery (Bodega) as a building type. Their challenges in topography and housing the winemaking processes alongside offices, warehousing and a hospitality precinct were ingeniously embraced in the final outcome.  Working with the lay of the land,  grape truck delivery was consciously placed at higher levels to sorting and fermentation plants thereby employing gravity to assist in the movement of the product.  This ultimately minimised use of energy-consuming machinery and lessens  the need for earth levelling and a greater impression on the landscape,  and this is just one of the ingenious devices employed to reduce envornmental impacts.

Having previously collaborated with Frank Gehry on the Marques de Riscal Winery Hotel, Andreu World's pieces are again prevalent in the internal furnishings of Portia Bodega.   The Lineal Collection, Mar Tables and extensive Nanda seating were selected by Foster + Partners to complement the materials used throughout the internal and courtyard spaces.

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