Among Earth and Sky: A Winery


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Virginia Tech


This project began as a desire for large open rooms, unrestricted by programmatic requirements; a realm where architecture, its meaning, and its purpose could be explored unhindered. I chose a winery and located it among the rolling hills north of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Inspired by the beauty of vineyards, this winery facilitates the natural process begun in the growing of a grape. Sunk into the hillside, the earth provides the stable temperature and humidity necessary for wine maturation. Accounting for the technical aspects of winemaking, this project likewise addresses the aesthetic, creating not only a functioning winery, nor simply a beautiful building, but a marriage between the two.

The winery consists of a series of rooms that house a singular process of winemaking. Architecturally, the rooms are likewise individual in character: centrally planned spaces described by sacred geometry. These rooms are linked by a series of axial relationships. The descent and subsequent ascent lie on axis, rotated 90° from each other. The entrance and exit halls lie on a separate axis, shifted 45° from the former, marking the transition between the exterior natural world and the submerged built world. Visitors follow a more circuitous path. Weaving in and out, the foot's path intersects the main axes at crucial moments, but is otherwise diverted. The vertical axis also heightens spatial divisions and interrelations. Submerged in the earth the rooms each open to the sky, marking their depth within the dark, quiet earth while reconnecting them to the realm of the vineyards.



Architecture, beauty, winery