Bodegas Beronia is considered the best winery in Europe or, at least, the most sustainable and modern, so international awards such as the Architecture Masterprize or the World Design Awards could not be missing.
That the wine industry in our country is one of the best in the world is a fact that can be corroborated with some ease. That architectural construction and design processes, as well as industrial ones, are processes that enjoy good health in today’s Spain, is also an easy fact to verify. For example, looking at the recently built best winery in Europe: Bodegas Beronia, in Ollauri, La Rioja.
You cannot grow without being up to date with the improvements that engineering and architecture bring us. Bodegas Beronia knows that very well, who already built fantastic facilities in Valladolid in 2017. Now, satisfied with the result, they have executed another large-scale project and better results: the Bodega Beronia de Ollauri.
The spectacular Bodegas Beronia de Ollauri
But let’s go back to the beginning, when González Byass commissioned IDOM Arquitectura to carry out the architectural project. The studio trusted the architects Borja Gómez and Gonzalo Tello for the work, and it is clear that the trust paid off. Together with the promoters, they gave the singularity that best represents the winery: the integration with the surrounding landscape.
And it is that, despite having some 10,303 square meters of constructed area, it can be said that it is practically undetectable from the air, due to the fact that the roof has a green finish. A green roof completes the building, providing acute thermal protection to the interior, providing a rainwater collection system for later use and facilitating integration with the outdoor field.
It is located on the side of a mountain
Another point in favor of physical integration has been the accommodation of the property to the existing hillside. The same has been followed to couple the building in the form of a step, giving it a difference in interior height between 4 and 9 meters with the rest. In other words, they have made a section in the mountain and have replaced it with a reinforced concrete building in which to produce the exquisite grape and create the most sought-after liquid on the planet.
This has led them to receive two major international awards this year: the World Design Award and the Architecture Masterprize, which not only reveals the importance of «good» work, but also serves as an incentive to continue in the «good» direction. Because not only the integrating aesthetics have won these awards, but also the way in which this reality has been executed.
A modern and sustainable building to produce wine
The building is very efficient and reaches the top in sustainability, as well as being very well organized for wine production. The grapes reach the upper part of the building, and from there they go down to the basement, where the state-of-the-art fermentation vats receive them to do their work. In the different rooms of the building, the light interacts in different ways, becoming non-existent when it is required not to alter the production of the wine.
The structure has been made with the most versatile and durable material that man has created: reinforced concrete. And more specifically, in the form of prestressed slabs, precast pillars and retaining walls, also precast. And it is that the industrialization of buildings provides many advantages, such as the speed of execution, the elimination of dangers inherent to work on site and the improvement of finishes.
The design of the winery has been awarded internationally
However, the most valuable element, structurally speaking, is a post-stressed slab, made into a large piece that acts as a sunshade and cover, an element that powerfully attracts attention and generates curiosity in the visitor. It is a GEO-TABS system, consisting of energy supply facilities, by introducing pipes into the concrete parts and cores through which hot or cold water passes, cooling or heating the thermal mass of the building.
Of course, all these measures have led them to receive other international recognitions, such as the LEED (Leader in Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design) pre-certification, granted by the US Green Building Council, and the WfCP (Wineries for Climate Protection) certification, due to the application of environmentally friendly tools during the production of wine.
The luxury of producing wine in a designer and sustainable winery
The company that was in charge of the construction is called Evalarra. She could tell us about the challenges of the work, such as the execution of the exposed concrete staircase, only supported at its ends, with glass railings and wooden steps; or the execution of the glazed façade with an inclination towards the outside, supporting the feeling of connection with the surrounding vineyards.
There is no doubt that the work is outstanding, although not only experts have the power to determine whether it deserves an award or not. It will be the users of the property, both the operators and the wine tourists, who have to propose the note that the building obtains, for practical purposes. For my part, I am looking forward to tasting one of the wines from the winery in this unique building.