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Marqués De Riscal Hotel, Spain
Marqués de Riscal Hotel was designed by architect Frank Gehry,it is an innovative building full of unusual but wonderful thinking.
In 2002 the Marqués de Riscal Winery (the oldest in the Rioja region) commissioned the celebrated architect Frank Gehry to design a hotel for their facilities in Elciego, in La Rioja, the principal wine growing region in Spain. It is an innovative building making use of titanium and stone cladding. The hotel started construction in May 2003 and opened in July 2006.
The hotel has 43 exclusively furnished suites, all of which have been individually designed with a view of the surrounding vineyard and the town of Elciegio. Each of the suites features a modern, comfortable atmosphere and unique design by Frank Gehry. All are equipped with luxuries such as LCD TV, CD player, coffee/tea maker, marble bathrooms and high speed internet access (ADSL and wireless). The main restaurant combines traditional Rioja cuisine with modern influences by the well-known Echaurren Restaurant (1 Michelin star).

In addition, there is a wine bar in a more informal setting, a rooftop bar and lounge with panoramic views and open fireplace, a wine tasting corner, cooking school, and an ancient wine cellar, which has been converted to a banqueting hall. The leisure facilities are headed by the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa that offers an indoor swimming pool, hammam (steam therapy), fitness, and a wide variety of massages and treatments featuring 'wine therapy'.

Guests also have access to the Marqués de Riscal vineyards, the Wine Museum and shop, and the state-of-the-art process and elaboration centre. Additional leisure activities in the area include two golf courses, tours of the surrounding nature and hills by foot, bike, or horse, and 'Ruta de Vino', an established tour which explores the Rioja wine region by car.

In the design of the hotel Gehry has explored a new facet of the material used to dramatic effect in the Guggenheim Museum he designed in Bilbao (1991–1997). The main structure is wrapped in a series of flowing coloured titanium canopies supported directly off the hotel building of natural-coloured stone and from the ground on slender steel sections. These provide shade from the intense Rioja sun.

The bold structure, which would at first seem to be out of place, is actually a response to the unbroken landscape of lush vineyards surrounding the building, while the hues of the coloured metal are inspired by the rich tones of the sky and vineyard. The rosé, silver and gold impregnated plates represent the leaves and branches of a grapevine.

The hotel's radical departure from the winery's existing architecture, which includes two sandstone structures dating from the nineteenth century, is mitigated by the traditional stone blocks used in its facade. The dominant feature is a bold, geometrically complex roof structure with an almost free-floating titanium skin that optically accentuates this most extraordinary construction.

The hotel has a built area of approximately 2,000m2, has three floors and one mezzanine level. The floors are supported above what appears to be a vineyard by three massive super-columns and four inclined prisms that support the cantilevers of the end elevations. Although the hotel appears to be founded in the vineyard this is, in fact, a false perception. The vineyard lies on top of a new wine storage cellar and the building's three 'super-columns' pass through this slab and are founded in rock eight metres below the reception level.

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  Source: Marqués de Riscal

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