Baja Winery

The invention of the Wardian case in the eighteenth century enabled colonists to transport the plants that would previously have died during long voyages across the ocean. If the Wardian case is the container that enabled the birth of winemaking in Baja, this winery is its last refuge in the face of extreme drought. Like the Wardian case, the building captures water, creates coolth and consolidates scarce resources available on the site to cultivate grapes.

The entire winemaking process, from grape cultivation to distribution, is condensed into a singleĀ building designed to respond to an uncertain climate. A nursery of approximately 918 square meters can populate a up to 280 acres of vineyard. Rainfall in the region is such that the cooperative will know in January whether or not the aquifers will run out. In the event of a break in the drought, the nursery expands into the landscape to resume the large scale production of grapes.

The nursery is positioned on the roof of the project, open to the sky, with the spaces of wine production and consumption underneath it. The weighty green roof is supported by a minimal material concrete shell beam, which filters light as it falls into the spaces bellow. The project emphasizes a relationship to the site, such that any water that falls on the mountains uphill will be funneled into the the nursery. It also has a system of hanging dew collectors that capture water from the humid air that moves through the site each morning.

The assembly of the building responds to this concept of environmental flexibility. The building can open and close, through the articulation of an inflatable ETFE roof, allowing optimal microclimates to be created in the nursery, the fermentation space and the barrel aging rooms. Wineries are traditionally built on the concept of an essential link between location of production and a specific unique quality . This Winery extends this concept by providing a climate-responsive and resilient building that offers a chance for the winemaking community to a future in the face of drought.