Bombolini’s Cyclopic Winery

Rice University | Profesor Andrew Bartle

Project date 1987

Honorable Mention Bachelor of Arts in Architecture

Senior final project where from a fictitious narrative, four descendants of families whose ancestors built famous Italian gardens, decide to set up a winery and residences in the Grecian valley of Olympia. The project explores the perspective foreshortening used in these historic sites, by setting up a visual route for the visitor, in the tradition of Grecian planning, in which as one approaches the front wall of the winery facility, the space behind it appears to compress. In the oposite direction, individual rooms for private contemplation, perched upon high towers, have painted representations of the owners gardens with a window looking out towards the new landscape which completes the mural, in a kind of pictorial bridge between past and present.

Between the winery and the houses, perched on the side of the valley, rises a small building which I called , “the Witness”, a combination of water tower and astronomical creature, it is the only place where the spatial manipulation is deciphered. In addition, the Dyonisian myth, where the boat in which he had been sequestered is suddenly stranded in an ocean of ivy, is recalled in the wine cellar building, which resembles a ship and whose access is from oars transformed into ladders.

There is constant play in the design, where cast shadows from one building become the geometry for another, and precise meteorological measurements give form to other elements, as for example the frontal southern exposed wall, that leans slightly forward, so that on the cenith, the sun runs behind it for a few seconds and then comes back so that a “shadow curtain” drops and rises, marking the yearly event, in an architecture of spectacle and contemplation. The interest in the project lies in the generation of forms as derived from a narrative and a particular topographic and cultural context, as well as the precise placements of objects in a landscape to manipulate the larger spatial structure of the site.

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