New Protos wineries

We speak to Antonio Paniagua, an architect who’s ditched his ego to create a winery which literally disappears into the hill to allow the surrounding vineyards, castle of Peñafiel and earlier cellar by Richard Rogers to take centre stage.

Buried under an immense blanket of vines, the new Protos winery excels not only in terms of sustainability but in daring to be discrete.

Keywords: Architecture, green roof, vegetable roof, Logistic center, Wineries
Project Partners
Protos winery
A Spanish wine company in Peñafiel (Valladolid) that was founded in 1927 by the eleven winemakers in the area at that time. Protos was the first winery of what would later emerge as the Ribero del Duero Protected Denomination of Origin.

Antonio Paniagua –
Architecture Studio

Antonio Paniagua created his own architecture studio in 2000 in Pinar de Antequera - Valladolid. He combines professional practice with research and he also teaches at the Valladolid School of Architecture.

ARBOR, Engineering and Architecture
A team of agronomists, industrial engineers, architects and other specialized technicians working together to provide innovative solutions for the modern day world.

Construcciones ACR
A development group involved in all types of building and refurbishment projects. Since its beginnings in 1973 ACR strives to deliver high quality, innovative solutions that best suit the clients needs.

Specialists in designing, manufacturing and erecting precast concrete for all types of buildings.

A waterproofing and insulation company specialized in integral solutions for sustainable building and a better quality of life.

Protos Winery insight
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Edmundo Bayón
President of Protos Wineries
Why did PROTOS build this new winery?
We wanted to create a new winery to replace the one that was built in 1927. This former winery had already been renovated a number of times, but we felt that it was time to make more substantial changes so as to better manage both the production of wine and the complex logistics of the cellar. State-of-the-art technology now allows us to produce consistently good quality wines and at the same time ensures that the logistics centre runs like clockwork.
As for the architecture, the new winery embodies the values of our brand. The building was conceived and erected according to the same principles that guide our winemaking: respect for the environment, sustainable production and international projection.

Antonio Paniagua
Architecture Studio Antonio Paniagua
How important was the surrounding land and the castle for you?
The landscape around the winery is obviously a defining element. The plot of land sits right on the border between the town of Peñafiel and the surrounding farmland. Our task as architects was to preserve this special landscape and heritage, characterised by the 1927 Protos cellar and the castle, because they’re closely associated with Protos as a brand.
How would you describe this project in a few words?
Our idea to half bury the winery in the hill of Peñafiel and create a green roof on which we would plant vines. It was a way for the building to blend into the landscape, to make a smooth transition from urban to rural. The new winery is connected to the other Protos cellars via a series of tunnels which allow people and products to pass through.
How does the new winery coexist with the former one designed by Richard Rogers?
By creating a semi-underground winery, we made a conscious choice not to challenge the cellar designed by Richard Rogers. The new building adapts to the unevenness of the land and has been conceived so as not to sit any higher than the base of Rogers’ cellar. We like to think that this design generates a respectful and silent dialogue both with Rogers’ cellar and the surrounding landscape.

Another key aspect is that we’ve used the same 9x9m module that Richard Rogers used. We replicated and rotated this module so that it would fit into and, at the same time, organise the irregular plot of land. It’s a huge underground hypostyle hall that’s reminiscent of the great roofed cisterns of ancient times.

Guillermo Jiménez Michavila
Managing Director of ACR Constructions
What was the biggest challenge when building the winery?
The biggest challenge was the short time frame we had to finish the project. Protos wanted to use the new facilities for the grape harvest in 2019 and that meant we had less than 15 months to get everything done.

We’re talking about a building made for the most part with precast concrete structures and with a surface area of 23,000 m2. Excavation began in June 2018 - more than 250,000 m3 of land was moved - and at the beginning of October 2019 the tractors were unloading the grapes in the new winery.

Iñaki de la Calle
Managing Director of Artepref
How important were the prefabricated structures in the project?
More than 90% of what we built was done with precast concrete pieces: the structure, the exterior walls and the roof are all prefabricated elements. Without this technology, this building would never have been finished in such a short period of time.

The pieces were made in our facilities in Aranda de Duero (Burgos). 3097 pieces were manufactured and transported to Peñafiel in order of assembly. The pieces were then put together like Lego pieces, with pinpoint accuracy. Building the winery with fully-finished precast structures allowed us to get the job done on time and also kept the impact on the environment to a minimum.

Manuel del Río
President of Danosa
What environmental values have been taken into account?
One of the most important aspects of a wine cellar is to guarantee a constant temperature throughout the year. In Peñafiel, the difference in temperature between summer and winter is about 25C. By putting most of the building underground, in order to benefit from the thermal inertia of the earth, our challenge was to design a waterproofing and insulation system that at the same time would allow for a roof covered with vines. This same system makes the building extremely energy efficient, which means less energy consumption and less carbon emissions.

Helen E. Rowing
Landscape architect at ARBOR Engineering and Architecture
How have you been able to improve energy efficiency?
The energy savings associated with the design and construction of the building are complemented by a number of other elements that include solar panels, the use of aero-thermal pumps, LED lighting and smart light control.
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