When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Mendoza's "Recycled" Winery — Argentine Eco Architecture With A Splash

Architects in Mendoza, western Argentina, have used hundreds of tons of recycled building material, shipping containers and discarded decorations to create an otherwise high-tech winery.

Photo of Maalwines' winery Las Compuertas, Mendoza, Argentina

Maalwines' trash recycled winery Las Compuertas, Mendoza, Argentina

Graciela Baduel

MENDOZA — Winemaking and wine tourism installations are usually built with a tasteful nod at the landscape around them. In the case of the MAAL winery in western Argentina, its environment-friendly design includes use of 300 tons of discarded construction and decoration materials found in and around the district of Mendoza.

Local architects Mora Hughes wanted to make the project a badge of their "commitment to nature," but with all the "charm of a Mendoza winery." MAAL winery is in Las Compuertas, on the outskirts of the city of Mendoza and at the heart of a celebrated winemaking region.

Their design won a bronze medal in the Architecture and Landscapes category at the 2023 Best of Mendoza's Wine Tourism awards. MAAL is an acronym of the owners' names, Matías and Alfredo, though they insist it also means Malbec As Alfredo Likes. The label only uses its own Malbec grapes and only "the way Alfredo likes it."

Photo of Maalwines' winery construction in Argentina

First moments of Maalwines' recycled winery

Maalwines Instagram

Eco-friendly designs

The winery sits on a narrow strip and is effectively a rectangular tube, with the produce introduced at one end, and passed along and processed to end up as wine in barrels at the other. Fermentation and storage happen in small concrete tanks holding between 50 and 200 hectoliters, and stainless steel vats and barrels with capacity ranging from 225 to 500 liters. The winery produces some 200,000 bottles a year, sold in eight countries including Argentina.

They used bits of flooring or roofing from wineries facing demolition, pipe segments and 20 disused shipping containers.

Wanting to minimize construction emissions, the architects decided to reuse local construction elements, including bits of flooring or roofing from defunct wineries facing demolition, pipe segments and 20 disused shipping containers. They brought in items like postal service furniture, church pews, old tractor seats, aluminum roof paneling from a local hotel, the Aconcagua, and even an old minibus still waiting to find its use. These were neatly laid out by the building site before work began.

This proliferation of recovered material prompted challenges, requiring flexibility and adaptation during construction, which meant intermittent delays. The design evolved and with the containers at least, the architects seemed at times to toy with options like kids playing with giant Lego bricks. These have ended up as a wall around the central structure, serving variously as offices, labs, storage or tasting rooms.

The winery's surfaces have kept a rough finishing that says something of their previous lives as bits of other buildings. The shipping containers were cleaned, but without wiping away their original colors, wooden beams and paneling are neatly cut but were not sanded down too much nor repainted or varnished, keeping thus their original tones. Much of the furniture is recycled or made from hard-plastic fruit crates.

The building also maximizes access to sunlight and natural air currents, through ample light shafts and air corridors that can be regulated to adjust airflow and temperatures. The only new things it seems are the winery's top-end equipment.

Mora Hughes, a studio run by Eugenia Mora and Tom Hughes, have undertaken a range of design projects around Mendoza including the Zuccardi winery and its restaurant Piedra Infinita, the Cavas Wine Lodge and private homes.

Photo of Wine tasting at Maalwines' trash recycled winery

Wine tasting during the Maalwine trash recycled winery tour

Maalwines Instagram

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

The Damning Proof Of Migrants Tortured In Libya — And Italy's Complicity

The Refugees in Libya movement has posted shocking images to awaken our consciences. But here, all is silent, and the hope for humanity is entrusted to a Europe that is reborn from the bottom up.

Aereal photograph of Staff members of the desert patrols of the Libyan Illegal Immigration Control Department and some stranded African migrants at the Libya-Tunisia border

Staff members of the desert patrols of the Libyan Illegal Immigration Control Department and some stranded African migrants are seen at the Libya-Tunisia border

Mattia Ferrari


TURIN — "Let me die."

These were the desperate words of yet another migrant tortured by the Libyan mafia. Like many others from sub-Saharan Africa, this teenager had to leave his homeland wrecked by global apathy and injustice. And like many others, he ended up in the hands of a local criminal organization, who imprisoned him in one of the notorious camps in the Libyan town of Bani Walid.

We know of his fate from videos of his torture, which were shot in order to extort ransom from his family back home. A social movement led by the migrants, "Refugees in Libya," has been sharing this footage in hopes of awakening Europe's conscience.

But on this side of the Mediterranean, all is silent.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest