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Bodegas Portia
Norman Foster & Partners

January 05, 2004 /

Ribera del Duero, Spain

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

The Bodegas Portia is located in the Ribera del Duero, one of Spain's foremost wine-producing regions, approximately 150 kilometers north of Madrid.

The project was an opportunity to look at the building type, using the natural topography of the site to aid the winemaking process and create the optimum working conditions, while reducing the building's energy demands and its visual impact on the landscape.

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

The winery is designed to take advantage of the sloping terrain, using gravity to aid movement of the grapes within the building, maximizing efficiency and minimizing damage to the grapes. The concrete structure is clad in shingles of Corten steel.

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

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The building's trefoil design expresses the three main stages of production: fermentation in steel vats; aging in oak barrels; and finally, aging in bottles. These are controlled by an operations hub at the core.

The wings containing the barrels and bottle cellar are partly embedded into the ground to produce the most favorable environmental conditions for aging the wine, while the fermentation wing is exposed, allowing carbon dioxide to be released. The wineyard has a production capacity of one million bottles per year.

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

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The site has extremely cold winters, as well as hot summers with limited rainfall. The deep overhang of the roof canopy provides shade and the building is designed to regulate the internal temperatures, at the same time as reducing energy demand.

By partly embedding the building within the landscape, its visual impact is minimized and the passive environmental benefits are maximized - the roof incorporates photovoltaic cells and the thermal mass of the concrete structure helps to control interior temperatures.

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At the heart of the winery a raised public gallery extends into glazed mezzanine areas, which project deep into each wing, allowing visitors to enjoy elevated views of the different processes. Between the wings is a light-filled public reception and administration area, where extensive terraces and pools of water overlook the vineyards. Lined with deep-stained old wine barrel slats, the public areas are designed to evoke the rich tradition of winemaking in the region.

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Photo © Thomas Mayer

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Bodegas Portia is our first winery, so we had no preconceptions about how it should work. It was an opportunity to start from first principles - to examine the different stages of wine production and to try to create the ideal conditions for them to unfold. The wine was the starting point, as well as the beautiful setting in Ribera del Duero. Using materials that draw on the region's winemaking traditions, with public spaces open to the landscape, will enhance the visitor experience.

/Norman Foster



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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersSite Plan
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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersGround Floor Plan
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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersUpper Floor Plan
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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersRoof deck Plan
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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersLongitudinal Section

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Drawing courtesy Foster + PartnersCross Section

Facts about Bodegas Portia

Site area:

400 ac
Gross area: 12,500 m2

Design Team:
Norman Foster
David Nelson
Gerard Evenden
Pedro Haberbosch
Nadine Pieper Bosch
Ana Agag Longo
Juan Gabriel La Malfa
Luca Latini
Chris Lepine
Emanuele Mattutini
Josep Mercader
Jaime Valle

Structural Engineer:

Arup

Mechanical and Electrical Engineer:

Arup

Quantity Surveyor:

DLE

Lighting Consultant:

Claude Engle

Project Manager:

Prointec

Local Architect:

Prointec

Main Contractor:

FCC

Client:

Faustino SL

Photographed by Thomas Mayer

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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