Rock, by Barozzi Veiga

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

As architecture slowly moves away from the box, it automatically approaches geometries like that of the crystal and the fluid.

Beyond the 90-degree angle there is a world of other angles, in a quadrangle, pentagon, hexagon or other setup. Despite their apparent freedom these architectures are often based on familiar form systems, like the crystal or rock. Seriously new forms are hard — if not impossible — to imagine.

The other way around is to trying to avoid any angle at all and obey the regime of the curve: the fluid. As a system it is equally iconographic (waves, water, balloons) and equally rigid: everything must curve in the same way.

The attempts by Ben van Berkel to put the fluid and crystal next to each other in one project are still not that convincing. His Villa NM even caught fire. What we however can do, is superposition both systems: cross the fluid with the crystal. In my view projects like the Taichung Opera House by Toyo Ito, the Mercedes-Benz Museum by UN Studio, and some of the works from Zaha Hadid actually do that: crystallize the fluid, or: make crystal fluid.

The hybrid geometries promise a world that looks like a giant coral reef, a world with randomized geometries and hexagon-grotto-like dwellings. Just open an issue of MARK magazine to see what I mean. After years of experiments like that, it is getting predictable. And it is not being build. Nor ever will be, I am afraid. There is limit to how far one can move away from the box.

In the interior spaces, I mean. Our exteriors will forever become more complex. In that sense the popular turn to the crystal and rock can be regarded as really pragmatic. The metaphor, iconography, is limited to the exterior, the skin. Which leave the inside to be filled with practical floors.

The design featured here, the headquarters for the Ribera del Duero Wine by the Spanish Estudio Barozzi Veiga, is instructive: a ‘solid’ freeform exterior form, filled up with floors. That easy.

The way the architects dealt with the large program in the village landscape is even easier: just put it all underground. Hop! And it’s gone.

The architects explicitly work with the scale of the village. At first sight they also work with the picturesque geometry of the surroundings. At a closer look though, one finds that the old city is composed of rectangular structures that are shifted from one another and with that create a complex, picturesque streetscape.

Estudio Barozzi Veiga’s project doesn’t have such a rectangular interior structure: it is based on the freeform quadrangle and pentagon. The exterior however does echo the picturesque city. The thing that is contextual is the skin. I am not sure what to think of that.

The project is maybe not all that brilliant, but I still think the skin is gorgeous. From the iconographic perspective it’s a blend of a rock, a ruin, a cliff, a watchtower and cheese.

The way the project starts from the existing houses, swoops underground to create a plaza, and then lengthens itself upwards to create a dialogue with the vast landscape is marvelous. If we would like to joke, we could say it’s the wine cellar that became a building.

The architecture does emerge from the ground, literally by putting most space underground, but also literally because the building is clad in a local natural stone. Speculatively I would argue the small tower is a ‘landmark’ in the most primitive sense: It grows from the ground, from the ‘land’, to overlook the landscape and, more importantly, to be seen from all around: to ‘mark’ a spot.

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

 

Estudio Barozzi Veiga - HQ Ribera del Deuro Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright Estudio Barozzi Veiga)
Estudio Barozzi Veiga – HQ Ribera del Duero Wine, Roa, Spain (Copyright EBV)

The project is added to the Architects, Representation and Top 10 pages

Related ‘rock’ iconography: Rocks, by Mazzanti; Rock, by Nouvel; Rock, by Hollein; Rock + Cave, by EEA; Blurred Trees 

Related ‘boulder’ iconography: Boulder, by Alsop; Boulder, by EEA

4 Comments

im architecture student who being made a final project about “computer trade center”. i am stll making the concept. i love your blog. and iconography is fantastic. i enjoy you blog much.

i have a problem about the relation between “metaphor” and “iconography”. does it similar? what is the differences? there’s lack of source about iconography in my school library, there always called “mataphor”, since many student had use it. i planned to use word “iconography”. it is more intriguing and challenging 🙂

thanks michiel

That is a very good question. I am afraid I haven’t been that clear about the difference between the metaphoric and the iconographic either on Eikongraphia. There is a big difference though: a metaphor can be really abstract, while iconography always has a concrete element to it.

You can for instance say ‘the rhytm at this facade is like music’. That is a metaphor. If you would actually print music notes on the facade, that would be iconography. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown once did a facade like that.

Does that work for you?

You could read the book ‘Iconic Building’ by Charles Jencks. Maybe your library has a copy. There isn’t much else (yet).

hullo..I have been a fan to this website for long time.Really love everything here. Anyway, i am a 2nd year architectural student also, currently doing a sport complex project based on the idea of delay.Any suggestions for this? building that i can look at or stuff like that..thanks

Hi Edo, you’re too kind. I am horrible at giving advice on design. All I really can say is: do something that has a virtue.

Sports has certain characteristics, and a certain esthetic. The ‘Allianz Arena’ of Herzog & de Meuron is an amazing achievement, I think. It truly captures that spirt: energy, aerodynamic, heat, team-spirit… It speaks the same language as Adidas does, I think: bold, colorful, futuristic…

If you’re doing something with delay, why not do something with slow-motion? Try to beat Wiel Arets: http://www.eikongraphia.com/?p=249

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