López de Heredia, the birdhouse of Haro

El Txori Toki o casa de pájaros
El Txori Toki o casa de pájaros

In the mythical city of Haro, capital of La Rioja Alta, where the extraordinary combination of the goodness of the climate and the severity of the land is produced, we find the López de Heredia winery, the oldest in Haro and one of the first three in La Rioja.

Creación de Zaha Hadid y bodega al fondo
Zaha Hadid's creation and winery in the background

The architectural appearance of the residential building above the winery is remarkably whimsical, inspired by volumes reminiscent of the houses in the French villages of Aquitaine, but enhanced by the lookout tower that forces the scale of the whole. It is precisely this tower that has characterised the López de Heredia facilities since their foundation and has become a symbol used on the labels of their bottles all over the world.

On the other hand, this tower obeys a double intention of its founder: to stand out from a great distance because of the firm's labels, and to serve as an observatory to contemplate the vineyards of the region and the meteorological contingencies. This viewpoint was given a funny Basque name: "Txori Toki", which in Spanish means "little bird house".

Stand de la Exposición Universal e Internacional de Bruselas del año 1910
Stand at the 1910 Brussels Universal and International Exposition

The structure by Zaha Hadid

On the occasion of the winery's 125th anniversary and to commemorate so many years dedicated to the production of quality wines generation after generation, the owners of the winery decided to "treat themselves", apart from the restoration of their great-grandfather's stand, to another architectural luxury.

When they decided to restore the modernist stand and take part with it, fully restored, in the Alimentaria Fair in Barcelona, they faced a problem: the stand had to be located outdoors, something for which it was not suitable.

For this reason, and so that the small installation could recover its former splendour and usefulness, they thought of creating an exterior structure to cover and protect it.

haro.bodegas-044

López de Heredia knew and admired the work of Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi architect based in London and known for the spectacularity, innovation, plasticity, boldness and subtlety of her work.

They approached her for the realisation of this project, which was soon to go ahead, given the enthusiasm the architect showed for the idea, and the sensitivity she displayed when it came to integrating tradition and modernity, wine and aesthetics, nature and architecture.

After several interviews with Zaha Hadid, she forged the idea of conceiving the roof for the 1910 modernist stand as "something sculptural", which could then serve as the basis for a fixed structure that would be placed definitively in her Bodegas of Haro.

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