I’ve always loved this facade. Such a basic idea, stolen from our friends the engineers over at hill-side management, inc. who use gabions to hold back and stabilize hills.
The neighborhood I grew up in was accessed by a winding road called Crystal Hills Boulevard that was protected by a tall gabion wall – sort of like this:
Image from gabions.net
Except in our case the rocks inside the mesh were the purple/red native rock of Manitou Springs. So the first time I saw the facade of Herzog and De Meuron’s Dominus Estate Winery I was immediately drawn to their use of the gabion as a facade/exterior wall. Like my old roadway they used local rocks, uniformly arranged in wire cages.
These exterior gabion walls let filtered light and air through, and they add a cooling effect to the spaces inside. Quite clever. Textural and beautiful too!
Winery mages from The Republic of Less Blog
About Christine Scharrer
Seattle architect with 24 years of experience practicing architecture and design.