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Stirling Prize Video: Bodegas Protos Winery

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Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners explains the design of the Bodegas Protos Winery

Interview: Graham Stirk, senior director, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

This winery near Valladolid, north-west Spain, is situated on a stone plinth in the shadow of Peñafiel castle. Housed under five laminated timber arches, it features a terracotta tile-covered roof, steel supporting arms and a double-height basement area for storing wine.

What inspired this design?

Underground wine-making facilities in the region inspired us to place a proportion of Bodegas Protos below ground. The roof, by Arup, draws on the work of César Martinell, who designed wineries in Catalonia in the early 20th century. The overall inspiration comes from our practice philosophy and how we apply principles of context, public realm, legibility, flexibility, energy and teamwork. Here, we have achieved what can best be described as ‘a noble shed’.

How was your relationship with the client?

It was good, and close. The board represented 270 vine-growers and we worked closely with members to achieve sign-offs for the project’s stages. The client always supported the idea of a modern building which reinterpreted the traditional winery without being pastiche.

Did the jury pose any tricky questions?

Questions were generally focused on why we had made particular design decisions rather than more subjective questions. The most awkward one was: ‘Why is there no push handle on the revolving door?’ The door is automatic so doesn’t need a handle; it was just out of order on that particular day!

Which other project would you pick to win? Maggie’s Centre in London.

We heard a rumour you prefer beer to wine…

Before this project I wasn’t very knowledgeable about wine but after working with Protos for five years, I certainly developed a strong liking for their Gran Reserva.

Project Data

Start on site June 2004
Completion date September 2008
Gross internal floor area 19,450m
Form of contract Construction management
Total cost £16 million
Cost per m2 £823
Client Bodegas Protos
Architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Executive architect Alonso Balaguer y Arcquitectos Asociados
Structural engineer Arup, BOMA, Agroindus
Services engineer BDSP, Gripo JG, Agroindus
Main contractor Fomento de Constucciones y Contratas
Quantity surveyor Tècnics, Agroindus, José María Garrido
Annual CO2 emissions Not supplied

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