Wine Region Elicits Crowd Help for Architectural Project

Published Jun-16-14

A crowdsourcing architecture competition selects two winning building designs that will help to create a new resort in one of Argentina’s most famous wine regions.

Mendoza Art District, Argentina

The Story:

Wine Region Elicits Crowd Help for Architectural Project The Province of Mendoza, Argentina, in South America is the center of the world-renowned Argentinian wine industry, a desert region with an artificial irrigation system that supports mile after mile of lush vineyards. It is one of the country’s most important wine areas, accounting for much of its wine production.

In 2013, Mendoza was selected as a location for a real estate crowdsourcing project. The MAD Project (Mendoza Art District) sought ideas for a brand new resort complex including a restaurant and a meeting place. The contest organizers also asked the crowd to come up with a trademark that would acts as a powerful global symbol of this wine producing region.

Working with Nature

The open innovation contest was open to anyone from any field, especially architects, artists and designers. Participants were provided with a conceptual framework to guide their thinking. Organizers were after ideas that would enhance the power of Mendoza’s natural beauty. More specifically, MAD wanted proposals “linking the four seasons with the four elements of nature.”

In opening up the competition to the world, the project's backers were hoping that diverse, brilliant and creative participants would put forward radical and disruptive ideas.

The open innovation contest attracted nearly 2,000 online registered users and 51 projects were submitted by participants from countries that included Brazil, Chile, Spain, England, Argentina and Mexico. Submissions were examined by a jury that consisted of an architect, engineer, artist, musician and orchestra conductor. From two rounds of judging they selected two winning designs. Each winner received a check for $10,000.

Winning Designs

The winning restaurant design, “Entrevides” was by MMIT Arquitectos from Cantabria in Spain. Their spacious building design is characterized by its blending in with the local surroundings.

The winning meeting pace design was “MADDAM” by Vicens+Ramos (Spain) and Juan Carlos Alé and José María Silvestro (Argentina). It is a striking futuristic looking building with wide courtyards and rooms that are bold and arresting with their simplicity.

Of the winning submissions the jury said: “The winners successfully managed the challenge to operate in an urban area and a rural area following the guidelines of sustainability, constructability and innovation while incorporating the principles of 'Crowd' or bank of ideas available to contestants on the website.”

Future Developments

The competition was held in 2013 and at this stage there is no word about whether the buildings will be given the green light. It is expected that some of the novel ideas presented will feed into development of the Mendoza resort. There may also be additional open innovation competitions further down the line.

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