While you may have to travel a bit off the beaten path to see Santiago Calatrava's breathtaking Ysios Winery, the good news is that a delicious glass of wine awaits you! The wave-like structure is as dazzling as it is functional, with its rolling wooden contours that seamlessly integrate into the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains of Spain. Named after the two Egyptian gods, Isis and Osiris, the winery was commissioned by The Bodegas and Bebidas Group to be the most avant-garde yet first class facility of its kind in the entire country. As Calatrava is also a sculptor and painter, the artistry of the building is not lost in its deep connection to the Rioja mountainside.
Photo credit: Dan Nik
The Ysios Winery consists of over 8,000 square feet of building space and over 120 acres of vineyards. The main difficulty in constructing the building was the incredibly unlevel ground, which varies in height up to 10 feet in some places. Calatrava’s amazing undulating roof design embraces this foundational hurdle by waving up and down along the nearly 200 foot walls. The building’s south wall is clad is horizontal cedar, creating the look of giant wine barrels sitting beneath the mountains from a distance. Small pools of water line the bottom of the walls, decked in white ceramic to keep the water cool under the hot Spanish sun. The rippled roof is covered in wood beams with aluminum that not only reflect the shimmering sunlight but also match the rolling aesthetic of the mountains above.
Calatrava designed Ysios as an incredibly long and linear building to accommodate the wine making process. The raised balcony and jutting vertical wood panels in the center create a sort of altar, presenting the winery as a temple that celebrates the ancient beverage. The raised center area is also the visitor section, where a giant balcony overlooks both the vineyard and the winery, connected by a rustic granite bridge. Natural light pours into the floor to ceiling windows throughout the public space.
Ysios offers master wine tasting classes and tours of the facilities throughout the year. There is even a special member program that allows serious wine drinkers to buy by the barrel.
images via arcspace
additional images courtesy of Dan Nik’s Flickr stream