(Taken from calatrava.com)
The Bodegas and Bebidas Group wanted a building that would be an icon for its prestigeous new wine 'la Rioja Alavesa' and at the same time accomodate the precise and rigorous program of spaces needed to brew, store and sell wine. The site is uneven, with pronounced grade changes of as much as 10 meters from the highest level in the north, to the lowest in the south and about half of the site is occupied by vineyards.
Calatrava adopted the strategy of giving a volumetric treatment to the roof and walls — physical limits of the landscape outside and the winery within — so that continuity between the two spaces is achieved through the 'static movement' of the enclosures. Two 196-meter-long concrete, load-bearing walls, placed 26 meters apart, trace a sinusoidal shape in both plan and elevation. The southern facade is clad with horizontally placed cedar slats that, reflected in the pools, resemble a row of wine barrels. The pools are tiled with white broken ceramics. The aluminum roof paneling creates a material contrast to the warm wood of the facade. The effect of sunlight accentuates the roof volume creating a kinetic effect in contrast to the calm background of the vineyard. The roof, composed of a series of laminated wooden beams, supported on the staggered sinusoidal cornice of the lateral walls, is treated as a continuation of the facades.
The result is a ruled surface wave, which combines concave and convex surfaces as it evolves along the longitudinal axis. The building is outlined as a simple rectangular plan, along an east-west axis, to accommodate the linear program for the wine making process. Two entrances in the side facades emphasize this linearity. The facade to the north is precast concete panels with few narrow openings. The eastern and western facades are clad in fret aluminum plates. In the center of the building the roof protrudes in a continous volume over the Visitors Center that is conceived as a balcony overlooking the winery and the vineyards. A granite bridge across the pools give access to the vineyards.