Abadía da Cova Belvedere
A belvedere for a winery in the midst of a generational change
The project is the construction of a belvedere for a winery in the midst of a generational change guided by a discourse which includes a clear claim to the right to live off the land.
The plot, situated in a rural environment with a small village and an intensely labored agricultural area, is oriented by its orography to the southwest. It has extensive views, mainly in the direction of the slope that descends towards the banks of the Miño river. Here, the meander that forms the river singularizes the landscape giving it an enormous power from a geographical point of view and forming one of the most recognized landscapes of the Ribeira Sacra: "O Cabo do Mundo".
Abadía da Cova's commission required a set of outdoor spaces to enjoy tasting the winery's products and contemplating the landscape. Finally, the project was completed with the construction of a small sheltered bar, some toilets, a storage room and a small tasting room.
The new architecture sews and gives spatial coherence to the different built parts of the winery and refers, through its implantation and materialisation, to the values of respect for the environment that characterise the activity of the winery and seek to consolidate it as part of its identity. Therefore, it responds to diverse criteria such as the interrelationship with the immediate environment and the surrounding landscape, the search for an architectural expressiveness that makes it recognisable as a brand image, the economy of means and "gestures" in such a way that these respond to a structural and functional clarity that justifies them.
A reinforced concrete slab unloads on both existing retaining concrete walls and new load- bearing concrete walls, with an exposed face executed with a formwork of wooden logs of different diameters. This platform connects the main part of the belvedere, creating a large space on the upper floor acting as a plaza that articulates the space between the area enclosed by the traditional winery buildings, which include a barrel wine processing area, a meeting room and the shop, and the stairs and ramp leading to the building of the new winery. The pavement of this space was unified by extending the existing cobblestone in the upper area between buildings through the passing road.
Above the steel pillars, the structure is built with acetylated pine wood, characterized by its high levels of durability and stability. This decision has allowed us not to use any coatings with biocides that could wash out and end up affecting the next plantation. The constructive detail has been taken care of in a conscious way to extend, even more, the lifespan of the construction assuring its permanence in the time and adding it, this way, to the heritage that the following generations will inherit. The wood will acquire a greyish tone, derived from the presence of molds in the superficial micro-fissures, which will function as a witness to the passage of time.
The railings incorporate a mesh that will serve as a tutor for climbing plants, contributing to the mimicry of the building and to the avoidance of the overheating derived from the high temperatures characteristic of the area in summer.