Architecture Magazine

Hotel Marqués De Riscal, Elciego, Spain

By The Grumpy Old Limey @GrumpyOldLimey

Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, SpainLocated in north central Spain the Rioja region is famed for its production of Rioja wines. The Rioja Denominación de Origen Calificada is named for the province of La Rioja though the wines are actually produced in three northern Spanish provinces; La Rioja, Navarre and Álava. In the province of Álava The Frank O. Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal adds a touch of the ultra modern to the small, traditional town of Elciego. Erected in 2006 the hotel was a part of a plan to ...

Calle Torrea, 1 , Elciego ,01340, Spain
42°30'41.60"N 2°37'3.55"W
No Google Maps "Street View" Available - Not Included In Google Earth Tour

... re-invigorate the regions wine related tourism activities. Traditionally Spanish wineries have not been open to the public; the Vinos Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, established in 1858, aimed to change that with the construction of the Gehry designed complex which houses the five-star hotel and its conference facility, a notable fine dining establishment, a world class spa, a museum of viticulture and a wine shop. Guests staying at the hotel are guaranteed a reservation for the 90-minute tour of the famed Marqués de Riscal winery.
The architect has been quoted as explaining that his aim:
"was to incorporate the character of the region and its famous vintage within the building's exterior - the multi-colored ribbon-like titanium facade reflecting the pink hues of Rioja, the silver foil shielding the cork, and the distinctive gold mesh which adorns all Marqués de Riscal bottles."
Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, SpainOur main image of the hotel strongly suggests that he achieved these aims; the stunning hotel stands in marked contrast to the older buildings alongside it and yet the combination, while surreal and perhaps a little strange, does work and the buildings do look like they belong together, distant cousins if you like. The 27,000 square foot, 43 room hotel shares signature characteristics with many of Gehry's works, in particular the flowing curved lines seen in the metal "sails", and his being retained to design the hotel is thought to be at least in part due to the huge reception and recognition for his most famous Spanish work the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain which shares the same style [shown to the right].
The Hotel Marqués de Riscal is a part of the Starwood chain and one of its "Luxury Collection". It also has luxury prices; as at July 30th 2004 rooms ranged from about $440 to $1000 per night - I probably won't be staying there any time soon. Of numerous awards and recognition claimed by the hotel perhaps the most notable is being recognized as the "Number 1 Spa Worldwide" by Condé Nast Traveler in 2009.
Our research on this building was the first time we had come across the body of work of Frank O. Gehry and he has quickly become one of our favorites architects. A look at any of the multiple lists of notable and/or strange buildings around the world will show multiple Gehry projects most of which share signature characteristics though a few are radical departures from his norm. Many of these will be the subject of articles on this site in their own right in the future but Gehry's work is so significant in the world of unique architecture that we are making him the subject of the first of an ongoing "once in a while" feature of our site - the Architect Spotlight - check it out here.
There is no Google "street" view available for the hotel but we did grab a cool aerial view screenshot that you can see on the Google Maps tab.

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