[Photography by Martin Edwards]
What similarities do you see shared by winemakers and architects?
The work of both is extremely different. My palate is very rough and I still don’t understand the nuances of enology. For both professions, timing is crucial and so is trust in the project by clients and owners.
Could you talk about the symbiotic relationship between art, wine, and architecture, that distinguishes VIK?
These three facets that intersect in this project are closely related to each other. Together they create a different imagination around wine. Not only in the final sensual product but also in the fruit of that creative process.
Sustainability is leading the conversation in most industries today. Can you discuss how sustainability guided your approach to designing the winery?
The sustainability of the VIK wine cellar is based mainly on common sense supported by technical studies. It is important to define that a wine cellar is usually a building that is used in parts and seasonally. This fractional functionality allows you to properly define energy gains and losses. Burying the building, orienting it in the direction of the prevailing winds of the valley for ventilation, using PTFE membrane on the roof to obtain natural light during working hours, are actions that are part of this basic common sense.
VIK winery appears like an arc balancing the earth and sky. The structure’s entrance soars toward the sky, yet when you enter the winery, all the primary activity actually happens below ground. Can you talk about your inspiration for this dramatic design?
This idea was taken from the rudimentary structures that existed in the valley and were popularly used in the grape harvest. Simple stakes supporting a membrane to shade the harvested grapes in the middle of the vineyards. The idea of being in contact with the land in the middle of the plantation seemed significant enough to be interpreted in a new way and another scale.
How does your upbringing in Chile influence your work and what role did it play in your decision to become an architect?
Normally my life decisions are casual and are distant, fortunately, from a certain type of planned rationality.