Articles / Civic & Institutional

Remote winery spirals up and up

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The Herdade Of Freixo Winery in Portugal features an entrancing spiralling ramp

This massive volume channels the Guggenheim


Architect: Frederico Valsassina Arquitectos

About the project (Text supplied): The herdade of the Freixo, with about 300ha, and 26ha of vineyard, presents itself as a typical Alentejo landscape, undulating, diversified and with interesting points of view on the surroundings. Punctuated by clusters of wild olive trees, olive trees and holm oak, it still concentrates in one of its elevations a mount, identified by typically rural constructions that define it.

The morphology of the existing ground was so decisive for the definition of the project, making it imperative to keep it unchanged although subject to an intervention with this volume of construction. Any intervention would never jeopardise the balance found on site.

The functional intersection, the relation between interior / exterior and natural / artificial report the existence of an inner presupposition, with which we have no immediate visual contact. It appears as an artificial accident whose anonymity is being lost as it travels allowing different circuits that cross the heart of the intervention, the central courtyard, unifying element of all circulations.

It was placed on a fluid and sequential transition of spaces that are intended to physically and visually communicate. These are followed by providing, similarly to what happens in the herdade topography, overlapping views, diversified, which indicate that there is more beyond what is directly within reach.


The purified language of architectural forms takes advantage of the scenic effect of the building, captivating the visitor and convincing him to go through all the spaces in order to perceive the whole and understand the functional hierarchy between them, distinguishing and individualising each of the zones industrial and social components.

In the production, the option to bury the winery, projecting it in several floors to more than 40m of depth, allowed that the gravitational force in the process of winemaking was used, respecting the wine masses and using the most advanced and innovative techniques of oenology. It was also possible for this reason to create the best thermal conditions for wine conservation given the reduction of the thermal amplitude and the low temperature values.

First published date: 10 November 2017

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