The bucolic hills of Spain’s wine country may be one of the last places you’d expect to see a Frank Gehry-designed building, but the starchitect’s iconic deconstructivist style has found home in the heart of the Rioja wine region. Spurred by Gehry’s successful Guggenheim Museum in nearby Bilbao, the Marques de Riscal winery in Elciego commissioned the world-renowned architect to dramatically renovate its 19th century grounds with an avant-garde touch. The new luxury complex features gigantic curving titanium sheets that pop against the lush landscape and includes a five-star hotel, restaurant, viticulture museum, and more.
Completed in 2006, the Marques de Riscal complex includes Gehry’s first completed hotel. The 43-room luxury hotel prides itself as a work of art with a sculptural exterior and light-filled interior with cathedral-height ceilings and bespoke detailing. The stunning new complex was commissioned in hopes of bringing the “Guggenheim effect”—a term that refers to how Gehry’s art museum in Bilboa rejuvenated the city—to the winery’s small town of Elciego. Nearly eleven years after the unveiling, the Gehry-designed complex seems to have worked—the hotel has earned glowing reviews and brought greater tourism to the region.
Spread across two buildings linked by a suspended footbridge, the ultra-modern hotel features curved titanium plates tinted rose, silver, and gold—colors that represent the Marques de Riscal bottles, from the burgundy hues of rioja to the silver foil covering the cork. Due to the building’s sculptural design, the luxurious interior includes tilted walls and zigzag windows. The rooms and suites overlook beautiful views of Spain’s wine country. The winery grounds also include the Michelin-starred Marqués de Riscal Restaurant and a spa.
Images via Marques de Riscal Hotel