Project
Baja Winery | Core 3

The myth of the Ouroboros embodies the cyclicality of Nature. It is creation out of destruction, Life out of Death. The Ouroboros is both emblem and protagonist of this winery. It introduces self-sustainability into the wine making process. Ouroboros Winery harnesses the ‘undesirable’ moments of production. The winery celebrates the waste, or dead derivatives, of wine making. 

Ouroboros winery is a series of sweeping, catenary vaults generated from the building’s excavated footprint. The series of vaults stretch across the site, swinging upwards to transform into chambers. Five chambers distill the moments of waste generation. They are the centerpieces of the winery. Outputs of production are shifted to the foreground, in the five chambers. The remaining, traditionally celebrated moments of wine making are pushed to the background, housed within the vaults.

The first chamber utilizes porous brick to exaggerate the olfactory and somatosensorial experiences of grape intake. The ‘visual’ brick and its orientation allow for grapes to be pushed through the wall for intake and initial crushing.
The second chamber—a lab for experimenting with the waste products of wine making—emphasizes the visual and temperature effects of turning waste in to fertilizer.
The third chamber leverages the varied temperatures embedded in the fermentation process to create a condensation room.
The fourth chamber contains a basin of pomace. Whistle bricks draw in west wind ventilation. As the chamber aerates, the wall sings, creating an auditory experience of the composting process.
The final chamber, storage, contains the most valuable, aging wines. Tasting bricks pop out of the chamber walls to hold aging wine bottles. The patterning of these bricks—creating a ‘hairy’ wall—muffles sound to create a quiet chamber.

The five chambers challenge the paradigmatic composition of the contemporary winery, designed with the visitor in mind. They realize the mythical cyclicality of the Ouroboros, positioning waste at the heart of a consumptive process.