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Cooperative Winery

Giving a traditional image new luster

ASArchitects

Cooperative Winery
By Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi -

For several years now, Antonello Stella and his studio ASArchitects have operated out of the city of Ferrara. But he is also known in the profession for having been one of the founder partners of n!studio, a Rome-based firm specializing in museum design whose strong emphasis on fitting into context combines with striking - at times impressionist but never excessive - exhibition settings.

The project presented here is a local cooperative winery in Pitigliano, a small hilltop town in Tuscany. Stella was already familiar with the area’s special geography having been involved as n!studio with the design in 1991 of the archaeological museum in the town’s castle-fortress Rocca Orsini. A debut project, it was widely reviewed in magazines and books on architecture, presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 1996, and awarded the 1998 IN/ARCH prize.

Although a completely different typology, the winery is no less strategic than the museum for the small town of Pitigliano. The cooperative is a mainstay of the local economy, emblematically located just outside the entrance to this medieval town perched on a rocky spur. Established in the 1950s, it was one of the first cooperative wineries to be set up. Although rooted in age old traditions, wine and oil production has had to adjust its offering and present a new image. As a result, increasingly high quality products now address the national and international markets. And as might be expected, the renewed product offering had to be accompanied by restyling of the premises. Today, this type of retail outlet must not only be attractive welcoming places. They have to offer visitors much more than a series of shelves with wine bottles; they must provide an emotional experience the customer will wish to repeat. This is all the more true for products where the fierce competition is increasingly sophisticated in a...

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