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Protos Winery

Lucy Bullivant visits the modern new home of a vineyard rooted in history.

Protos Winery


February 22nd, 2010

The Spanish have been making some of the world’s most exclusive red wines in the renowned Ribera del Duero region of Spain since the Roman era.

The Protos winery, a cooperative owned by 250 producers in a dramatic valley context 120km north of Madrid, has been a fixture here since 1927, although until last year many will have driven past little more notable than a traditional signboard.

But not now, thanks to a new building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados.

First comes the tiny village of Peñafiel with its dull housing, dwarfed by a hill with a medieval castle with a wine museum perched at the top.

Only after swinging around the hill does the Bodegas (winery) appear – five parabolic terracotta roofs on a triangular site, each consecutive roof expanding in size.

At 17,000m2 it houses the largest contemporary facility to be built in the area for decades.

Protos, which had outgrown its previous facilities – a medieval building and a subterranean network of storage spaces inside the hill – can now improve wine quality and brand image.

With the successful new Terminal at Barajas Airport, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has a reputation for technical quality and the ability to create a strong context.

But Rogers had not tackled an industrial building in a semi-rural setting of this kind when Protos approached him.

“He lacks experience in winery design but is a world-renowned architect who only commits himself to projects that are attractive to him,” says Teotimo San José, Protos’ Manager.

For the full text turn to page 166 of Indesign #40 on newsstands now.

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