Architecture Design Core Studio III: BAJA WINERY: Architecture in Times of Drought

Open only to: 
2nd-year MArch students
Required of: 
MArch students

Studio Overview:

In Core 3, the final semester of the MIT graduate core studio sequence, students create and develop an architectural design project that integrates building technology, material logics and climate considerations. Architectural programs in Core 3 engage the space of production and explore the use of resources and the agency of architecture within the changing cultural spectrum of nature and the built environment.

Fall 2016

In Fall 2016, the Core 3 studio will focus on the architectural design problem of a winery in the Valle de Guadeloupe in Baja, Mexico, a region impacted by drought and climate change.  The studio will travel to the Valle to listen to local voices in winemaking, document sites and research material resources.  Hailed in 2014 as one of the top ten international wine destinations, the Valle de Guadaloupe embodies a longstanding experimental tradition of mixing grape varietals and creating new-world wine hybrids that have flourished in the arid soils of the region’s small vineyards.  The new prominence of the Valle brings a set of questions and competing visons for the scale of future development in the region, the role of architecture and brand in an increasingly global wine industry, and the relationships of public space, tourism and regional identity. The plot thickens with the functional imperatives of wine production which are embedded in the persistent realities of a Newtonian world.  Grapes are wet, heavy and they smell. They must be accessed, harvested, moved, crushed, mixed, fermented and stored within very specific temperature ranges and thermal conditions.  Students will explore the architecture of the winery as a platform for design research that questions, defines and takes a position on these matters of concern. Through digital and analogue analysis, detailed architectural drawings and the fabrication of large-scale models and architectural prototypes, the work of the studio will unfold in a non-linear, iterative design process of ideation, testing and discovery. 

Integration of Design & Building Technology

The Core 3 studio is co-taught with the MIT Building Technology 4.463 class which focuses on the selection, behavior and performance of advanced structural systems and architectural envelope assemblies. In the studio’s iterative design process, students develop a carbon argument for their choice of building materials and construction systems and investigate how technical and design considerations of structure, enclosure, daylighting, ventilation and climate design are synthesized in an architectural design concept that is coordinated across scales. 

In Core 3, architecture students collaborate with their engineering graduate student peers and consult with visiting structural and climate design engineers over the course of the semester. Special guests in history and theory, the winemaking industry, critics in architecture, engineering and specialized building industry fabricators will all contribute to the studio discussion.