Iniesta Nowell Arquitectos Has Turned An Abandoned Winery Into A Mediterranean Home

August 15, 2022



Rick Formalejo

One thing that makes a structure special is the story and history behind it. Many modern homes have interesting backgrounds, from being built on an agricultural landscape to having designed for the owner’s pet. Iniesta Nowell Arquitectos’ recent project also has an interesting backstory to tell. As the name suggests, House in a Jerez Winery is a residence built from an abandoned winery in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

Wineries sit side by side with the rest of the houses in the city to shape the historic center. This has established a unique city skyline that is closely linked to the wine-making tradition in this part of the country. When sherry wine began to be exported worldwide from the end of the 18th century, winemakers switched their operations from domestic to industrial without leaving the city. Apart from the cellars, a whole array of streets, squares, and extra spaces have been needed for different tasks, such as cleaning and repairing barrels. 

Many of the buildings have been repurposed over time. They have been used as shops, offices, gyms, and homes. For this project, the winery was previously used as a furniture warehouse and was left abandoned before it was transformed into a house.

The architect shared that from the available documentation, they discovered that it was a small domestic winery, possibly linked to a house that has since disappeared. They add that the deeds mention a maintenance alleyway but it was impossible to see in the condition it was left in. 

“Restoring this winery was undoubtedly an opportunity to find a part of the old city—the network of service alleys that make up the “second city” connected to the world of Jerez wine. A city within a city,” the architect explains. 

The team started with a compact building without ventilation, then they decided to work inversely by finding the remains of the service alley and opening up a new back terrace. “This is a place for getting together, and to cool off in the small pool,” the architect highlights.

The main facade is where the living room and kitchen are, maintaining the monumental character provided by the building’s original height. The rooms, meanwhile, are arranged on two levels to the rear with views over the patio with the pool. Several open-plan spaces allow for a view through the whole building, both from south to north and east to west. 

According to the architect, the project became a process of studying and adapting the pre-existing structure where they worked with systems and materials commonly used in winery architecture: local limestone, lime pine, and iron. 

“Out of deep respect for the typology and building methods, we have renovated a forgotten structure into a Mediterranean, Andalusian house. At the same time, we have put part of the urban fabric of the city of wineries back into service, which continues to define Jerez today,” Iniesta Nowell Arquitectos concludes.

Photos by Rafael Iniesta Nowell

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