López de Heredia Wine Tasting Pavilion

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia exterior at night

The historic R. López de Heredia Viña Todonia winery, located in Haro la Rioja in the heart of the Spanish wine country, is home to one of the world’s most unusual tasting rooms. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the wine tasting Pavilion specifically for the winery as a display stand for the 2002 Barcelona Food Fair and later reassembled it in Haro for the winery’s use. The Pavilion, which resembles a wine decanter, was one of the five structures to be awarded with the Great Indoors Awards 2007.

Like a fine wine, the building’s seemingly compressed structure when viewed from the exterior gives way to a complex, powerful, and bold interior, which conspicuously, and yet fittingly, houses the winery’s elegantly carved oaken and mahogany kiosk built for the 1910 Brussels World’s Fair. The interior space is a harmonious blend of the old and new, the classical aesthetics lending credibility to the contemporary style.

The stunning Pavilion serves as an inspired portal to this world-renowned winery, and while some may feel the modern styling of the Pavilion and its glass, L-shaped encasement are ill-suited to López de Heredia Viña Todonia, one of the oldest and most traditional family-owned wineries in Haro, the wine tasting room is much more than a point of interest or marketing ploy. Although it may appear to diverge from the stoic warehouses complexly spread across the winery’s property, the Pavilion actually numbers among several of López de Heredia’s nods to architectural excellence, and the 2002 display stand is simply another iconic structure added to the winery’s already distinctive and eclectic list of commissioned artifacts, such as its 1886 multicolored bridge that connects the López residence to the office with plates of glass painted in the Victoriana vein, the turn-of-the-century colorful lookout tower known as Txori Toki: “the birdhouse,” and an American-styled windmill built in 1910.

As both a wine and architecture enthusiast, I am fascinated by structures that seamlessly blend the two elements together, and Zaha Hadid Architects deserves all the recognition they have received for their creation, which has effortlessly conjoined the components that are, at their core, artistic, scientific, and labor intensive. Without further ado, here is the López de Heredia Viña Todonia Wine Tasting Pavilion:

Click on the images for a full-sized view.

winery, R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia,

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Interior

winery, R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia,

winery, R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia,

winery, R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia,

R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Pavilion

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~ by Benjamin Wey on April 18, 2008.

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