Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Environmental Design | Landscape Architecture
The process of winemaking is a complex one that engages all the senses. Grapes are harvested at their optimal point for making wine. This is determined by the human touching of the grape still on the vine. In fermentation, the temperature of the room is critical in determining the quality of the wine produced. While aging, the smell and color engage the senses in testing the wine’s development. Tasting is not only a final step but also one that occurs throughout the winemaking process. In most instances, the sensory experience associated with winemaking is exclusive to the winemaker. I am proposing that aspects of this experience can be extended to the visitor of the winery.
In this project, I propose a phenomenological approach to the design process that will emphasize the engagement of the senses in the experience of the building and the site. The interest in a phenomenological enhanced architecture derives from the potential for the landscape and the processes of winemaking to heighten the experience of the built environment. Although the effects on individuals cannot be preordained, creating the basis for an enhanced phenomenological experience of the building and the site offers the opportunity for one to be more aware of ‘self’ and the environment. The sense of sight can be engaged through a controlled sensitivity of light, views and orientation. The sense of touch that is present in the tactile experience of glass and bottle can be brought to the materials of construction through the experience of the whole body. The time of year or use of materials in the built environment easily affect the perception of sound. The smell that is so much a part of the wine tasting can inform the creation of the sequence of approach.
The principal sensory experience of winemaking for the visitor is typically a visual one. This can and should be extended to include all of the senses. The design process should be informed by this objective. Rather than accommodating the process in generic rooms, the architecture should be dictated by the processes of winemaking. Acknowledging an appreciation for all of the senses within the experience of the built environment is a desirable condition. Because the process of winemaking involves the senses, a winery is a good building type to explore this possibility. The same intensity of engagement of the senses that is present in the process of making wine can be translated to the experience of the architecture of wineries; in other words, the goal of an enhanced phenomenological experience can inform architecture in significant ways.
In a similar fashion, these sensory objectives can be used for developing the landscape of a site-specific architecture complementing the process of winemaking. The different stages of the process relate to the site in several ways. This relationship changes as soil, sky, sun and water take on different intensities throughout the course winemaking. Minerals come out of the earth to feed the grapes. Wood is used to make the barrels that age the wine. The relationship to the terroir determines the wine that is made. In a similar manner, the architecture of the winery should be a result of its ‘architectural terroir’.
Here, ‘architectural terroir’ is intended to mean that the architecture of the winery is one that emerges from the ground in the same way that the wine comes from the earth. The nature and potential of the site can inform the making of the building as it does the making of the wine. In this way, the earth, sky and water are seen as generative sources.
Albiero Brink, Marina Gabriela Betti, "The Architecture of Terroir: A Phenomenological Approach to the Design of a Winery" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 323.
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