Wine tourism has been on the rise, and as weary travelers look for a glass of red to unwind with, they're bypassing local bars and heading right to the source. The beautiful Maule Vineyard Homes in Chile recently added a spectacular new way to enjoy the stretches of grape vines that make up the Rivera del río Maule. Designed by Carlos Jarpa for his thesis project at the Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad de Talca, this water-tower-inspired timber construction winds up to the sky, offering inimitable views of the scenic Chilean countryside.
Jarpa wanted to create a tower whose structure would be self-supporting and would not require external additions for support. He turned to a jointed grid-shell system, which would not only provide for a strong and sturdy construction, but a flexibility that would allow the tower to be manipulated into complex shapes with dynamic planes. This structural system joined with a hyperboloid shape perfectly manages to transfer the heavy loads evenly throughout the volume. The airy, open grid construction also provides a visual lightness to the structure that melds well with the surrounding landscape.
The tower was built with treated 2×2″ pine slats joined together by a system of modular metal plates. The base of the tower is set on a rectangular platform that not only provides extra stability, but an additional place for visitors to play and repose. The entire structure took just 3 days to assemble on-site.
Inspired by the watchtowers that were formerly used on farms to monitor crops, Japra saw his tower as an opportunity to invite visitors to enjoy all the glory of vineyards without requiring them to tour the entire place.