In a momentous celebration of their 160-year legacy in the wine industry, the fourth generation of the esteemed Familia Martínez Zabala has revealed the breathtaking designs for Bodegas Faustino in Rioja. Commissioned with the utmost care, Foster + Partners has envisioned a sustainable extension and revitalization of the existing facilities, harmoniously blending with the surrounding landscape and fostering a profound integration between the winery and its vineyards.
Norman Foster, the visionary Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, expressed his delight in collaborating once again with the Familia Martínez Zabala, following the successful completion of Bodegas Portia in 2010. Their new undertaking encompasses a series of sustainable interventions, ranging from the partial refurbishment of the existing facilities to the creation of a remarkable visitor centre, offering a truly unparalleled and immersive experience.
Nestled in Oyón, the heart of Spain's renowned winemaking region, where the family first embarked on their global winemaking journey, the design ingeniously utilizes a newly constructed street to the north of the site, establishing a grand entrance to the estate. Visitors are greeted by lightweight timber canopies, under which their cars can find shelter, while artfully landscaped pathways meander through the mature vineyards, effortlessly guiding guests towards the captivating visitor centre.
Drawing inspiration from the winery's industrial heritage, the visitor centre emerges as an ethereal structure, its essence derived from timber sourced from the local forests. Ingeniously crafted anti-funicular timber arches not only optimize the building's structural integrity but also minimize the consumption of materials. An earthy color palette ensures the seamless integration of the structure with the terroir and the mesmerizing autumnal crimson vines.
Undoubtedly, sustainability lies at the core of this remarkable design. A sweeping glass roof, imbued with innovative photovoltaic technologies, generates nearly six times the energy consumed by the building. Gracefully extending beyond the structure on all four sides, it mitigates direct sunlight while creating a transitional space that blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior realms. A central skylight and meticulously integrated glazed facades bathe the interior spaces in natural light, obviating the need for artificial illumination. Embracing natural building materials fosters a biophilic environment, elevating the well-being of both visitors and employees.
Inside, the vast interior space unveils a vaulted and column-free expanse, engendering a sense of immense freedom and versatility. An asymmetrical core artfully separates two distinct zones, each offering unique experiences with the revered Faustino wines. A central staircase and lift seamlessly connect the ground floor to the mezzanine above, cantilevering from the core, affording captivating views of the space below and the breathtaking vineyard landscape that stretches beyond.
The project also breathes new life into the existing bottle and ageing cellars, offices, and production yards, upgrading them to cater to contemporary needs, enabling Faustino to continually enhance their winemaking prowess. The result is a serene, highly efficient, and resilient solution that improves productivity while facilitating guided tours and visits. To further optimize energy performance, green planting adorns the existing facades, while meticulous landscaping seamlessly links the new and existing elements of the winery, incorporating carefully selected native species to enhance biodiversity.