Baja Winery

MIT Fall 2019
With Emma Jurczynski and Gil Sunshine

Instructor: Sheila Kennedy

In a context such as Valle de Guadalupe, where water is everything yet there is little of it, even the near future of the winery seems impossible. This project anticipates the end of wine production in the Valle offering spaces of production that are specific to wine making yet able to be transformed in order to grow and process other crops in the future. Symbolically, the winery might assist in the decolonization of the land, by replacing grapes with native plants, such as agave, that are less water intensive. The building is an adaptable stage that facilitates future modes production and, in this way, can be understood as a piece of infrastructure, able to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Here, sustainability might be understood as the long term productivity and relevance of a piece of architecture.

Three massive boulders that dominate the site serve as anchors for the project in several ways. First, the boulders function as the foundation for the structure. They also serve as the central organizational forces of the program and finally, they are relied upon for their capacity to help regulate thermal conditions. The titanic force of the boulders is contrasted by the primary structural system, a rebar space truss. The space truss can be understood as a solid volume that is carved into to create functional spaces. This serves as a sponge that absorbs wine production, lab and public spaces. A mechanical fastening system is developed such that the entire structure could be demounted and its parts repurposed elsewhere.