The new Podernuovo winery was opened in the spring of 2014, with a design that combines real functionality with a clear identity in a building where clients are often welcomed. The Tuscan landscape, shaped over centuries of history and farming, was seen as fundamental to the project, especially incorporating the visual and conceptual features intrinsic to this sculpted land. The richness of this task is evident right from the very first sketches.
The presence of hills, vineyards, olive trees and, in the background, oaks thus became central to the winery's architecture. It was necessary to integrate seamlessly into this land, ensuring openness to the territory so the landscape became an essential visual part of the building. The winery sits on top of a small hill, almost blending in completely with the surrounds, and also partially rests on the slope, symbolising the conceptual integration between landscape and production site at the very heart of the design.
The building is a linear sequence of functional spaces placed with decision, clarity and formal severity to optimise production spaces without forgoing architectural considerations. Four visible, reinforced concrete partitions of variable lengths are open-ended and parallel, defining the virtual volume of the building and framing the spaces and visual links within. The choice of the earthy Sienna for these reinforces the close connection to a land where vines - providers of the raw materials for top quality wines - are such a part of local traditions. Inside, the four partitions highlight the central corridor that distributes and separates the large wine-making sections. The towering lower storey is partially dug into the hill, with the floor tiled with klinkers. This is the production area, decked out in vats and casks to great effect. The wine is matured and bottled in smaller rooms. The middle storey is a multi-purpose floor that is ideally suited to wine tasting. A glazed balcony overlooks the barrique cellar, filled with rhythmically placed casks, and a tall window allows views of the landscape. A short service corridor with cotto tiles leads to the lab and utility rooms, and is reserved for staff. The upper floor can also be reached via a long, suspended, reinforced concrete gangway, once again with a floor of cotto tiles. This area houses offices and meeting rooms and leads to the roof terrace, where cotto was once again the choice for the floor. A relatively flat lawn area forms the final part of the roof. Large pergola-like structures made of galvanised steel with aluminium grids hover over the outdoor spaces adjacent to the glazing, providing some protection from the sun and extending the volume virtually. These also form one further linking element between inside and outside. As noted, the design visually foregrounds the casks and vats within the building. Similarly - and also for strict functional requirements - the technical installations are also visible, effectively forming part of the architecture of this winery.
Location: San Casciano dei Bagni, Siena
Client: Podernuovo a Palazzone di Giovanni e Paolo Bulgari
Gross Floor Area: 4.500 m2
Architects: Alvisi Kirimoto + Partners
Contractor: Alto Soc. Coop
Structural: Esaprogetti, Tecno Studio
Mechanical and Electrical Systems: Studio Tecnico Emanuele Mucci e Fabrizio Corridori
Project Management: Toscana Project
Photography: © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG fotografia de arquitectura
Alvisi Kirimoto + Partners
After ten years of working with international architects, including Renzo Piano, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Oscar Niemeyer, Massimo Alvisi and Junko Kirimoto set up Alvisi Kirimoto + Partners in 2002. In 2008, Alessandra Spiezia and Arabella Rocca joined the practice, and, in 2013, Carolina Ossandon and Clare Quadraccia.
The firm’s main projects include the new office building for Molino Casillo in Puglia, the Accademia di Belle Arti theatre in Naples, the city of Corato theatre (Puglia), a complex of small and medium-sized industrial buildings for Incà in Barletta (Bari), hotels in Dalmine (Bergamo), a residential building in Trani (Bari), temporary pavilions for the Rome cinema festival, the new Hamasei restaurant in Rome, and the Davide Cenci shops in Rome and Milan. Its most important exhibition designs include Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Il silencio a colori’, the permanent ‘Musa’ exhibition at Rome’s museum of musical instruments, and ‘Saltexpò’ at the Mostra d’Oltremare in Naples.
The firm is currently handling the project management for the redevelopment of the former Mercati Generali area of Rome for OMA di Rem Koolhaas, as well as for the Prada Foundation in Milan. It has also recently finished project managing the Rocca di Frassinello cellars in Gavorrano (Grosseto) for RPBW Renzo Piano.
Its main current projects include Carma Spa - Tenuta in Civita di Bagnoregio and the interior of the new Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The firm’s design of the Incà industrial complex in Barletta was selected by Luca Zevi, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture, to be featured in the exhibition ‘Architetture del Made in Italy’.