La Rocca Winery
Sited on a hill surrounded by vineyards and woods, La
Rocca Winery revisits the traditional forms of Tuscan architecture
within a modern, industrially inspired frame.
The scheme consists of an open plaza, a glass pavilion, and a cellar. The building sits on the north side of a large court, an open area looking out over the surrounding landscape and inspired by the tradition of the "Sagrato," a courtyard for public gatherings and festivals. It functions as the roof to the wine cellar below, the real core of the scheme.
Piano decided to put the barrel cellar in the center
underground, so that the wine would have the ideal temperature and
humidity because, as he said: "What is the heart of a winery, if
not the space where the wine improves in the barrel."
The cellar is a vast square underground hall, with a capacity of 2,500 barrels. It resembles an amphitheater with the barrels arranged in rows, descending towards the center, and the tasting area in the middle of the space. An aperture in the roof brings natural light from above, completing the theatrical nature of the cellar.
Together with the production laboratories, disposed on an upper
level around it, the cellar creates a sort of massive podium, on
which the glass pavilion rests lightly. Its tower is reminiscent of
the ancient villages dotting the Tuscan countryside.
The transparency of the glass structure enables the scheme to
easily integrate with the surrounding landscape and gives a sense
of lightness to the cellar volumes. At the same time the glass
expresses a positive tension between the industrial processes of
winemaking and its history. Floating above the glass pavilion is a
roof stretching out to the north like a flying carpet shaded by a
web of vine threads.
Having had a long relationship of working together, which
includes Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church in Italy and the Pierpont
Morgan Library in New York, RPBW turned to Capoferri for the
lightness and finishes of the facades.
In Capoferri Serramenti, who specializes in custom designed windows and doors for architectural applications, RPBW have found someone who pushes the limits to develop solutions that satisfy their needs.
Facts about La Rocca Winery
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Associate in charge:
Structure and Cost:
Favero & Milan
Enoconsult, Manens Intertecnica
Alvisi Kirimoto and Partners
A.Poli, M.Alessi, L.Ferri
Photographed by Michel Denancé
La Rocca di Frassinello s.r.l.
Last updated: December 19, 2013
Vancouver BC, Canada
Pasadena, California, USA