Italian Airport Will Feature 19-Acre Vineyard On Terminal Roof

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  • February 8, 2024

Image for article titled Italian Airport Will Feature 19-Acre Vineyard Atop New Terminal Roof

Photo: Rafael Viñoly Architects

Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence, Italy is redefining what house wine means. The regional airport will feature a 19-acre vineyard on the roof of its planned new terminal. The airport will also be connected to the city center via a light rail system, so don’t worry about airport patrons drowning themselves in runway vino before getting behind the wheel. The structure will be built in two phases, with the first portion opening in 2026 and fully completed in 2035.

The vineyard is intended to be camouflage and help the terminal building blend into the surrounding Tuscan landscape. However, it will be a fully operational vineyard, according to designboom. Rafael Viñoly Architects, the project’s design firm, plans to work with a local vintner to harvest the grapes and produce a wine that will be aged in a cellar underneath the terminal.

The firm had to account for several unusual variables when it came to the vineyard roof, including the jet turbine exhaust from the nearby airliners. It’s not clear if the wine will be available within the terminal. If I were the airport operation, I’d just run plumbing from the cellar to the rest of the building. Just wine on tap at every gate.

Rafael Viñoly died March last year, but the architect spoke about the project in 2022 to Global Construction Review:

“Florence is a place where things become permanent landmarks because they have a fundamental sense of internal logic and quality. Because the airport, which is the door to the city and its culture, is so extremely close to the city center, this must be an urbanistic project, not an isolated design exercise that is divorced from everything but the technical demands of aviation and the competition for passengers.”

Viñoly is likely better known for designing 20 Fenchurch Street, the London skyscraper that partially melted a Jaguar XJ. Martin Lindsay, the vehicle’s owner, was more awed by the building’s reflection capability than angry that his car was severely deformed.

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