Saturday, 28 November 2015

28.11.15 The Ins and Outs of the Bodega City Project

José Manuel Aladro Prieto, professor of architecture at the University of Sevilla, addressed the Scientific Symposium in celebration of the 80th anniversary of DO Jerez on “Renovation versus Tradition: Architecture and the city in the second half of the XX century.” He began by saying that “the dilemma between renovation and tradition is so present in Jerez that it affects its architecture, urban planning and everything symbolic.”

Jose Manuel Aladro Prieto
The revolution in mechanisation and technology which hit Jerez along with the rest of Europe during the second half of the last century provoked a transformation in the culture of wine, “with a dismantling of the model of architecture, city and land established since the XIX century. The change of land model brought some lagares from the vineyards to the city, but the change is more relevant in the opposite direction since at the start of the XX century mechanised transport made it possible for some companies to move their installations to the vineyard, meaning the wine was leaving the city.”

From then on the landscape of Jerez changed and bodegas started to establish themselves at the city’s perimeter at the new Carretera de Circunvalación (ring road) built as part of general urbanisation plans. At first these projects allowed the two big firms of the city to expand towards the Cuatro Caminos area, but the bodegas were growing so fast that the municipality could not satisfy their needs. The euphoria was short lived as there was no longer enough land for the immense bodega complexes being built at the time.

Huge bodegas with vineyards at the edge of the city

In parallel with the construction of these vast complexes, there were changes in building materials. Concrete and steel structures are now common as they can be made bigger to accommodate conveniently and efficiently all the functions of a bodega in one place. Most present externally the aesthetics of the traditional bodega but inside they are simply huge industrial spaces.

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