Extension of a winery in Osterfingen - Architect: SPPA Architekten; Photos: Jürg Zimmermann
site plan
Architect: SPPA Architekten

In the green hills of the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen in the north of Switzerland, not far from the Rhine river, in the middle of vineyards stands an old barn. For four centuries it has been used for wine pressing and gatherings alike. Not only the building itself is of historical value, also the way it is standing among the vineyards. In 2007 the cooperative of local wine producers decided to invest in tourism. In 2010 a competition for refurbishment of the winepress building was held, with the aim to enrich the historical place with a contemporary program. The cooperative needed a new, multifunction space for parties and events, as well as a small restaurant with a so-called "wine library."

SPPA Architekten decided to keep the old barn as close to the historical shape as possible. No facade openings were added, only the entrance door was replaced by a new one, designed to match the wooden planks on the exterior. A stage and a mezzanine level on the other side of the room flank the room, still unheated, just given a new, even flooring.

The actual ancient winepress was moved from the corner of the barn to its own new concrete room on the east side of the barn, for all passers-by to see. The generous space between this new volume and the barn leads to the entrance and serves as an outdoor area for the restaurant. On the west, there is a separate technical entrance for the kitchen and staff. The new underground part houses, next to a restaurant, an event room, kitchen, all necessary technical facilities: all lined-up along the spectacular corridor showing how the old and new buildings meet.

 Extension of a winery in Osterfingen with VELUX roof windowsArchitect: SPPA Architekten; Photos: Jürg Zimmermann

Peter Trachsler

partner at the SPPA Architekten

Our idea, although extravagant at first glance, was very rational. We did not want to compete with the existing building, as we like its massive appearance and solitaire appearance in the landscape. So we proposed a non-building, rooms in the hill underground, behind the barn.

 Extension of a winery in Osterfingen with VELUX roof windows
Architect: SPPA Architekten; Photos: Jürg Zimmermann

"Vertical light was the only option in our project, an option we like a lot. The row of windows was initially supposed to consist of oval openings. As we were developing the project further after the won competition, we had to simplify things. Oval glazings were replaced by roof windows from VELUX. We knew the products from earlier projects: working on refurbishments, we deal with a lot of attics in need of daylight. Here, the roof windows are placed far above the room ceiling, in tubes, because of the steepness of the slope. We formed them for optimal light distribution, angled, so the roof windows are hardly visible from the interior." explains architect Peter Trachsler


 Extension of a winery in Osterfingen with VELUX roof windows
Architect: SPPA Architekten; Photos: Jürg Zimmermann

Long electric lights are hidden in the walls of the tubes, enhancing the daylight, shining on the wine exhibition, placed along the northern wall. Also here form follows more than one function: next to the primary one, the wine display, the wall serves as an acoustic panel and hides the ventilation system. The precisely cast concrete ceiling is also inlaid with acoustic panels in matching colour.

Project details

Project: Winery 
Location: Osterfingen, Switzerland 
Architect: SPPA Architekten 
Year: 2015
Photos: Jürg Zimmermann