Winery and Guesthouse in Piatra-Olt

The project consists of a joining of functions: that of a winery and also of a guesthouse. The winery encompasses spaces for wine making from the reception of the grapes to the storage and shipping of the bottles while going through the process of vacuum pressing, fermentation and bottling, as well as administrative spaces. Although it’s a building opened to the public, it’s designed in such a way that the technological flow isn’t affected by the guided tours. The guesthouse is divided into a wine shop, a restaurant with a terrace and accommodation rooms. Being located in Olt district, which is one of the most important viticultural areas of the country, I believe it gives the opportunity of great economical and touring potential growth. The building is a particular type of interpretation of professional archetypes and specific typologies of local vernacular architecture while using modern means of expression. Functions have been segregated in an explicit manner in two distinct volumes sharing the same roof. The separating space also functions as access points in both volumes. The complex is located on a hill top, easy to spot from the nearby European road while also naturally completing the scenery. There is a 36 meter level difference between the surrounding plains and the hill upon which the vineyard rests. The project nests within the geometry created by the existing vine rows and roads, without the need to modify the involved land. It is perpendicular to the contour curves, oriented and open to the landscape and Olt river. The façades are plastered and whitewashed with vertical light slits particular to the local vernacular architecture. These light slits also provide rhythm to the façade. Where more light was needed, glass walls have been used to create continuity between the interior and exterior spaces. The roof is covered with tiles. The structure is made of reinforced concrete bearing walls and metallic pillars encased into the walls, concrete being the best choice for providing a constant temperature in the rooms where it is necessary. The roof has been raised creating a horizontal light slit which surrounds the building and ensures natural light and ventilation to the spaces. The covering structure is made of wood and is exposed, to visually understand the structural logic. Sustainability issues have been addressed by using solar panels to cut down costs, heat exchangers with water pumps and a natural lighting and ventilation of the interior spaces. The spirit and process of winemaking is expressed in a contemporary manner using a mix of agriculture and technology, of production and hospitality, while responding to landscape and local vernacular and making an intrinsic statement about the land. This project also served as my graduation project.

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Architect: Alex Pintea     Images: Vlad Bălăceanu     Location: Piatra-Olt, Romania     Gross area: 4.500 m²     Year: 2009     Status: unbuilt