Pérez Cruz vineyard
Unusual and beautifully constructed flagship project from the woodrich country of Chile
Vinas Pérez Cruz, Paine
José Cruz Ovalle, Santiago de Chile/RCH
RG Ingenieros mit Mario Wagner, Santiago de Chile
The Pérez Cruz vineyard is 530 hectares in size, and is located about fifty kilometres south of Santiago de Chile, at the foot of the Andes in the valley of the Maipo river. The whole process of wine production – fermentation, laying down in barrels and bottling– takes place under one roof, in three structures built along the line of the road. Trapezoidal roofed areas extend between these volumes. Each unit consists of two hall spaces with a round-arched cross-section arranged side by side and connected by a maintenance walk to allow production to be supervised. The halls are about fifteen metres wide, with three-hinged arches of glue-laminated timber, each with a span of four metres, running across them. Together with the expressively curved paired external supports,these bear the load of the flying roof. In the interior space, the cladding of the enclosed cross-bracing walls runs parallel to the orientation of the arches, concealing the bare structure and providinga variety of wood tones for the interior. Indirect light entersthe interior through slits beneath the apexes of the arches, which resemble shafts. The cladding in this zone is laid with a different orientation, so that the main load-bearing elements are visible. Seen from a distance, it looks as though an almost tent-like construction is suspended from a large roof with massive supports. The division of the spaces into three volumes also contributes to the structure’s light appearance. The wind blows unimpeded betweenthe construction volumes and the cladding of the flying roof, providing natural ventilation and comfortable thermal conditionsfor the interior of the halls. Thanks to the use of radiata pinewood as a construction material, the building’s colour tones blend into the earthy tones of the setting. Chile is very rich in wood, but has few advanced wood construction companies. This project, which is outstanding both architectonically and in terms of construction technique, could potentially initiate a trend towardsincreased use of this local building material.