written by:
photos by:
February 10, 2010

Designed by Spanish architects RCR Arquitectes, La Bodega is a winery situated on a private vineyard near the coastal town of Palamos. The architecture strikes a balance between the artificial and the natural, existing within a man-made valley cut into the Catalan landscape.

The roofline of the winery structure is defined by a sequence of parallel steel blades.
The roofline of the winery structure is defined by a sequence of parallel steel blades.
Photo by 
1 / 9
The main building is reached via a descending artificial valley that leads into a small production area and an underground maze of wine cellars.
The main building is reached via a descending artificial valley that leads into a small production area and an underground maze of wine cellars.
Photo by 
2 / 9
Rocks and earth are visible between the steel blades as visitors walk down the path. In the dark lower areas of the structure, daylight creeps in through cracks between earth and steel.
Rocks and earth are visible between the steel blades as visitors walk down the path. In the dark lower areas of the structure, daylight creeps in through cracks between earth and steel.
Photo by 
3 / 9
A view from the interior of the winery reflects RCR's architectural philosophy of creating buildings in reaction to existing features of the landscape, revealing new dimensions to the topography of the site.
A view from the interior of the winery reflects RCR's architectural philosophy of creating buildings in reaction to existing features of the landscape, revealing new dimensions to the topography of the site.
Photo by 
4 / 9
In the words of RCR architects, the underground amphitheater invites reflection "in the deep grounds of the structure of shadows."
In the words of RCR architects, the underground amphitheater invites reflection "in the deep grounds of the structure of shadows."
Photo by 
5 / 9
RCR was inspired by the steel sculptures of Richard Serra, and by the layers of space and vegetation found in traditional Japanese Zen gardens.
RCR was inspired by the steel sculptures of Richard Serra, and by the layers of space and vegetation found in traditional Japanese Zen gardens.
Photo by 
6 / 9
The physical structure is integrated into the natural landscape, and is oriented toward a view of a permaculture vineyard. All wine and produce served to visitors is grown on the estate.
The physical structure is integrated into the natural landscape, and is oriented toward a view of a permaculture vineyard. All wine and produce served to visitors is grown on the estate.
Photo by 
7 / 9
Overnight visitors to La Bodega stay at an old house located on the estate. Although the exact date it was built is unknown, the residence is an example of traditional Catalan architecture.
Overnight visitors to La Bodega stay at an old house located on the estate. Although the exact date it was built is unknown, the residence is an example of traditional Catalan architecture.
Photo by 
8 / 9
La Bodega has six guest bedrooms furnished with pieces from the owner's personal antique collection.
La Bodega has six guest bedrooms furnished with pieces from the owner's personal antique collection.
Photo by 
9 / 9
The roofline of the winery structure is defined by a sequence of parallel steel blades.
The roofline of the winery structure is defined by a sequence of parallel steel blades.

RCR's work is characterized by an exploration of the boundaries between man-made architecture and natural landscapes. Using materials such as steel and glass, they play with light and shadows, a theme that reappears throughout the winery's architecture.

“La Bodega is a singular work, although it expresses itself with some of (our) essential values...: a strong relation with the location, a careful path, the space and the light, the use of natural materials,” says architect  Vialta, who founded RCR together with partners Rafael Aranda and Carme Pigem.

The winery itself houses wine production facilities, a cellar and an underground amphitheater. The structure slopes down through the artificial valley and descends to a production area that subsequently leads to underground cellarswhere wine tastings and other events are held. Vialta says the starting point for La Bodega was "to capture the essence of the world of the wine inside the soil, underground, and making one feel intense experiences with it."

Visitors to La Bodega also have the opportunity to spend the night in one of six rooms in a traditional Catalan guest house on the estate. The bedrooms are furnished with antiques from the personal collection of estate owner Kurt Engelhorn. Also nearby is a historic chapel, Hermita de Santa Maria de Bell-Lloc.

You May Also Like

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...