Massachusetts Institute of Technology / School of Architecture + Planning, 2018
Core III: Winery and Cooking School, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
Skills: Rhino3D, Adobe Photoshop + Illustrator, VRay, Model Making, Grasshopper, Kangaroo
Situated in an arroyo, the project takes its cues from a special moment that exists within it: a single, small oasis that represents a lush sensory interruption to the dry river bed. In an effort to both recharge the much-depleted aquifer and to multiply the sensory effect of the oasis, the projects uses architectural interventions to direct and diverge existing flows, to collect water, to control its speed, to provide areas for seepage, to filter and to retain for the winery program.
By staggering program along the natural slope, the project engages the ground and interacts with the water’s flow. It also allows for a gravity-based winery typology that creates two routes: one for the grape and one for the visitor.
The buildings are constructed of masonry, produced on site and specifically for this project. In addition to providing skills to local labor, the project engages with Mexican brick traditions to suggest new possibilities for an ancient construction material. The masonry works across two systems. First, a larger scale unit interacts with water at the base level, acting as retaining walls, speed-breakers, and structural integrity. Second, a smaller scale brick forms the walls and roofs; or the spaces occupied by humans and grapes. While its various treatments reflect the performative needs of the winery program within (whether experiential – light and views, or those climatic– ventilation, shading, thermal mass, etc.), the interplay between the domes and their veiling walls create means of circulation within the winery at large, and a host of different public outdoor spaces.
By inserting itself in the arroyo and in the vernacular construction culture, the project employs architecture in the service of a new landscape. The oases play into the winery landscape, impacting terroir and the taste and production of wine and the experiences of its visitors. They also give way to a new, greener landscape that allows parts of the arroyo to be inhabited with new programmatic possibilities.