This winery in Laguardia is organising an international ideas competition in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage of the University of the Basque Country to work on its façade, characteristic of the industrial architecture of the 1970s.

Solar de Samaniego Winery has launched «Solar de Samaniego, integrated landscape», an International Ideas Competition aimed at integrating the winery into the natural and cultural landscape of Rioja Alavesa and continuing their work in preserving its historical legacy and wine-related heritage. This initiative, launched with advice and collaboration from the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage of the University of the Basque Country, will work on the façade and outdoor area of the facilities, which date back to the 70s and are located at the foot of the medieval village of Laguardia.

A highly prestigious international jury, with top experts in academic, landscape, artistic and cultural fields, will evaluate and choose the final project among those submitted by a selection of invited universities and schools with subjects in landscape, architecture and design. Among other members, the jury will be formed by Petra Blaisse, from the Dutch studio Inside Outside; the renowned Australian mural artist Guido Van Helten, who already transformed the Medio Millón Space at Bodegas Solar de Samaniego; Manuel Gallego, National Architecture Award 2008; Joaquim Sabaté Bel, architect and economist specialised in cultural landscape; and José González-Cebrián, former director of the School of Architecture of A Coruña and former council architect of the same city. On Thursday, 7 June, the jury will visit the region of Rioja Alavesa, Laguardia and Solar de Samaniego Winery and select the winner at a discussion and debate session at the winery. The creative intervention will take place in summer and is expected to be finished by autumn.

The competition follows the principles and criteria of UNESCO to consider an area of singular and distinctive character, both geographical and cultural. «The aim is to make an integrating landscape impact, a relationship between winery and environment that fits perfectly with the philosophy of Solar de Samaniego in boosting and preserving historical legacy, which also includes the landscape,» says César León, creative director of Grupo Solar de Samaniego.

«It is not a matter of integrating the built heritage into its landscape, but of building the landscape, in Martín Lopo´s words, as a potential integrating element for fragmented heritage,” says Ander de la Fuente, researcher at the (GPAC), Grupo de Investigación en Patrimono Construido (Research Group in Built Heritage), and the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscape and Heritage. “Buildings are nothing but landscape components in which we take refuge.»

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