In the heart of the Marqués de Riscal wine cellars, a colossal project has been brought to life with the special contribution by the Canadian architect, Frank O. Gehry. It gives shape to the cellars’ spirit – innovation and tradition are united in a single building, made using the most modern materials and constituting a true architectural landmark. Without a shadow of a doubt, the City of Wine is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in Spanish wine cellars to date. The spectacular form of Frank O. Gehry’s building to house the hotel, combined with the rich beauty of the landscape and the surrounding installations of Marqués de Riscal, offers an exceptional setting to live a unique and unmatchable experience, and all in this exceptional place called the City of Wine.
A complex set in around 100,000 m2 devoted to making, caring for and studying wine which offers you the chance to enjoy everything that wine and the people involved in winemaking stand for, in the purest and most natural way. In a nutshell, a dierent, profound experience of the culture of wine and its essence. At the heart of the City of Wine, what else but the oldest of the cellars of Marqués de Riscal, dating from 1858, as well as its later 1883 extension. Surrounded by extensive vineyards, the installations preserve this special charm from its origins, the manifest worship of this tiny gem, the mother of wine: the grape.
Hotel Marqués de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel
In the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region in Spain opened its doors the 1st of September 2006 and celebrated its official Grand Opening Event in October 2006, with the special visit of the King of Spain, its Majesty Don Juan Carlos. Designed and built by Frank O. Gehry, one of the world’s most renowned architects and author of works of art like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, The Hotel Marqués de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel merges deep rooted wine-growing tradition with twenty-first century avant-garde design. Nestled in the renowned Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal’s vineyard in the medieval village of Elciego, the hotel’s spectacular curves, titanium roof and asymmetry of walls provide an elegant contrast to the historic wine cellars designed in 1858 by the architect Ricardo Bellsola. The hotel’s 43 luxury rooms and suites, each unique and different in their shapes and offered views, are “thrown” in two wings connected by a spectacular suspended footbridge.
Gehry’s personal and exclusive project of interior design characterized by its forms, colors and materials, offers an authentic avant-garde vision. The leather and raw maple wood of the suites the dark marble of the bathrooms, and furniture by Gehry (such as the Cloud lamps) and by other famous architects like Alvar Aalto melt harmoniously with the most advanced technology. State-of-the art “Beovision” televisions by Bang & Olufsen, VOIP telephones and WIFI internet access in all areas of the hotel combine perfectly with avant-garde furniture, lamps and headboards, designed exclusively for the Marques de Riscal Hotel and the quality and comfort of The Luxury Collection beds and linens.
The world of wine and the world of gastronomy meet at The Marques de Riscal Hotel. With the most exclusive crockery at their finger tips, guests can enjoy the creative and traditional Basque-Riojan cuisine of Francis Paniego, who in 2004 was the first Riojan chef to receive a Michelin star. The hotel also offers a more informal Wine Bar and a rooftop lounge with breath taking panoramic views. Its cozy fire-place will be perfect for guests who want to sample the thousands of wines from around the world found in the hotel’s cellars or enjoy the reading of one of the 1000 books of the library, all of them with topics related to the luxury world. Guests can also experience the entire process of wine production, from the most traditional to the newest and technologically most advanced processes.
The best representation of the innovative spirit of Marqués de Riscal and its world of sensations is, without a doubt, the building designed by Frank O. Gehry. It is a work which, although full of distinct forms, is in perfect harmony with the landscape of the area.
Like the Guggenheim Museum, the building designed by Gehry is covered with titanium. In this case, however, the architect wanted to infuse his work with the signature colors of Marqués de Riscal: pink like the wine, gold like the mesh on the Riscal bottles, and silver like the bottle top. How was Gehry reached an how did he come to accept the project? Herederos del Marqués de Riscal was certain that they wanted a modernistic building that aroused emotions. To achieve that they thought of Frank O. Gehry, a world renowned architect, known for works such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
When the project began, the team of Marqués de Riscal was not certain that Gehry would accept. However, the proposal was offered accompanied by a wine of his birth year (1929), and he accepted enthusiastically. Moreover, he had never designed a winery and it was a new challenge for him.
This is a video about the winery and it also tells you a bit about architecture of the winery house: