Monday, April 19, 2010

WAAC: SPRING[semester]2010: PROJECT[narrative]


Solid Liquid State
Fluid Spaces Surround
Ribbon Pierces Through

This project is entirely about wine. It is an Urban Winery in Washington DC (this is how wine is literally involved). For inspiration of my design I experimented by pouring wine into a wine glass and taking snapshots of the liquid flowing through the spherical space, of the glass. I then abstracted the best images to begin to look at architectural spaces and forms (this is how wine is ideally involved). The main concept behind my design is about the experience of fluid spaces, created by my literally imagining that wine is being "poured" into the infill site. I imagine the way it falls in and takes shape within the confines of this invisible "box" that is holding in the deep red/purple liquid as it splashes in and, like a wave, flows back over itself. Couple that with the urbanity of the site, an element I wish to be highlighted both in program and in form.

Innovation and Delight:
The idea is that this building is, in itself, an experience. The wine making will only be active about one month out of the year, when the grapes are shipped and they get crushed, fermented, and aged, but even that is a very passive process. so the wine learning then gives the public the opportunity to learn about wine in other ways. But most importantly the wine experience/ social space is always active (ideally) with the public's ability to come in, take a look at our wine selections, taste a few, mingle, and experience the fluid spaces. The building itself should be an attraction for the public to enjoy.

The Urban Winery first and foremost is just that: a Winery. This calls for a specific program that is derived from that of a regular country winery. The major difference, however, is that these spaces will be significantly smaller, as they will accommodate far less wine production (space is limited in an urban setting).
The Urban Winery phenomenon is changing the entire concept of a winery, as Gina Dallaria points out in East Bay Wineries Create Urban Tasting Experience, this concept is one marked by "unpretentiousness [and] an eagerness to educate." This struck me as something that should be exemplified by my program, the idea of educating the urban public on all things wine. It led me to add educational and social programs as well as group these said programs into three major categories, what I call: Wine Making, Wine Learning, and Wine Experiencing.
Wine Making holds the specified program for a winery: fermentation room, space for crushing and destemming grapes, a cellar, space for barrel aging of wines, and storage. Wine Learning holds a lab for the wine testing, offices for the wine-maker, a classroom for more intimate education of the public on wine fundamentals, and an aroma room for olfactory training. The Wine Experiencing holds the point of sale for wines, mingling space, wine bar for tasting, and the bottling room.

The Urban Winery is located in a 54'X80' infill site in Washington DC, between P and Q streets. The front of the building faces 14th street, on the Northwestern quadrant of Washington DC. In the late 1960's this area suffered greatly because of the Martin Luther King Jr. riots, but since then it has been revived and is now home to many nice establishments like live theatre, clothing boutiques, furniture stores, and trendy restaurants (including a jazz lounge). It is a very chic environment that is at the forefront of commercial and social growth, giving me the best opportunity to propose an incredibly appealing social space within my winery program.

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