Project
Troglodytic Production | Core 3 Studio

Core 3 Studio: BAJA WINERY: Architecture in the time of drought
Sheila Kennedy, Rami el Samahy, and Mariana Ibanez
Fall 2017

Water scarcity, logistical limitations, and a need to more efficiently manage resources all work to complicate the production of wine in the Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe. This project serves as a response to the regional and global infrastructures of the Valle, investigating the potentials for hyper-local construction strategies to facilitating the housing of wine production. The project explores techniques and methods of excavation and retention of earth to create an architectural language that is from and of the site. The winery is envisioned as an extension of the existing rugged landscape, offering a constructed ground that acts as a canopy for the winery program. exploring contemporary potentials for earth construction processes. Many existing wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe use passive design strategies to make their wineries comfortable and efficient. One of these strategies involves embedding winery spaces that are more thermally controlled into the landscape. In this project excavation is leveraged to facilitate thermally protected spaces critical for wine production, while also allowing for the excavated earth to be re-used as an earth form work. The main structure for the winery is a large earth concrete cast canopy, site cast on two large mounds which are formed from the earth excavated from the existing terrain. The resulting structure will resonate with the rugged character of the existing site. The shapes of the mounds are structurally informed by form finding studies in grasshopper+kangaroo which studied both pure compression surfaces relaxed under gravity, and lofted hypar-geometries. The top side of the canopy is shaped to allow for greater resonance with the existing landscape. The Baja climates allow for many of the thermal comfort concerns to be dealt with passively. The canopy acts as a shading device during the hotter months, allowing production to occur open air. There are only three thermally conditioned spaces, the barrel aging room, the residential cabins, and a cooled grape storage room. The heating of the spaces during the colder months is handled by a zoned, radiant flooring system, allowing for heating to occur only in spaces when they are being occupied.