Oct 2010 28

Spectacular Buildings – Marqués de Riscal Vineyard Hotel

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Photo by Jokin Lacalle Photo by Jokin Lacalle

Hotel Marqués de Riscal is located in Elciego, in the heart of the La Rioja wine region of Spain. Traditionally the wineries in the region are not open to the public, but as a component of an overall plan to redefine and invigorate its public image, Marqués de Riscal commissioned the design of a small building intended to provide a unique experience for visitors to the winery.

This marvellous hotel, a member of the Luxury Collection, is a true example of modernity and unique innovation set against the backdrop of an old, traditional winery. The hotel is operated by the Starwood Hotels & Resorts group under its prestigious brand "Luxury Collection".

The Hotel Marqués de Riscal was opened in 2006 and this architectural living monument presents the new design created by renowned architect Frank Owen Gehry, the hotel is his second masterpiece in Spain, after Guggenheim Museum in the Basque city in Bilbao. Another of his works is situated in Los Angeles; concrete Walt Disney Concert Hall expresses an energetic view of the solar power plant.

Photo by Ion Jaureguialzo Sarasola
Photo by
Ion Jaureguialzo Sarasola

His works were by far the most often cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age". This Canadian-American architect represents modern ideas and contemporary styles of design buildings. The inspiration was created by a shape of wine leafs in the current surroundings of the hotel.

The building material is a series of rectilinear elements, clad in sandstone, combined with sweeping panels of gold and pink titanium and mirror finish stainless steel. The building is lifted above the site on columns, creating a small entry plaza beneath the building itself and providing breathtaking and panoramic views of vineyards. The entry plaza leads to the reception area and to a bar, which are set along the edge of a small area of the vineyards. An outdoor terrace leads to a small pool, and a covered walkway extending from the building allows visitors the opportunity to overlook the vineyards and the surrounding region.

The design of the hotel was arranged by the philosophy of minimalism. Dominant elements are the ebony wood and marble. Finally, offices and meeting rooms for administrative staff are located adjacent to the building and are linked both to the building and to existing winery offices and production facilities. The spa has a patented formula for extracting molecules from the grape pit. The Hotel Marqués de Riscal includes a Vinotherapie spa.

The Hotel Marqués de Riscal building is one of the rare modern architecture pieces, which immediately catch eye of a viewer, but still offer large portion of functionality.

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