The Cousiño Macul Winery is located in Santiago, Chile’s capital. It dates back to 1856 when the Cousiño family acquired 1,000 hectares of the “Hacienda Macul.” It is situated in the middle of the city, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, and has a heritage infrastructure of great interest.

As the city grew, the vineyard became surrounded by streets, housing, subway stations and other urban infrastructures. This challenge has led it to seek new operating methods within an urban context.

In 2022, the winery decided to expand its offer to provide the opportunity to visit not only its cellars and heritage buildings but also to participate in wine production. The main objective of the landscape architecture proposal was to enhance the identity of the agricultural landscape within the city. By using typical materials such as brick and stone, reusing old infrastructures and incorporating agroecological techniques, the project aims to find new ways of agriculture, open production, community engagement, and environmental consciousness.

The project consists of specific interventions such as opening paths through the vines, setting viewpoints, and building resting areas for pedestrians and bicycles. Pollinator gardens, native hedgerows, floral bands, and animals such as bees, ducks, chickens, and sheep were also incorporated to contribute to pollination, weed management, fertilization, etc…

Old machinery and abandoned construction materials were reused to build playground equipment, bridges, public furniture, shelter structures and signage. The old irrigation dam was naturalized by planting riparian vegetation along its edges. Floating species and native fish were also incorporated to improve water quality and oxygenation to prevent algae proliferation during summer. In addition, some previously buried watercourses were daylight to offer visitors different instances in contact with water, such as swales, ditches and water playgrounds. It was possible to generate new paths that fulfill irrigation and recreational functions through gravity and simple hydraulic operations.

Over 8,000 plants of 80 different species were planted, of which more than 50% are native and endemic species of central Chile. A broad plant palette was proposed to offer an extensive flowering calendar and plant masses of diverse textures to provide shelter for different animal species. A vermicomposting area was also incorporated, where pruning and organic waste are decomposed to generate hummus for fertilizing. In addition, vineyard workers (historically identified themselves as “huerteros”) cultivate and operate a large vegetable garden. They can produce their own vegetables for their families at the same time, they teach people how to grow vegetables.

In conclusion, although the project involves a large plot of land in the city, the intervention was carried out as acupuncture, with small interventions, modifications, and openings within the vineyard so as not to interfere with the agricultural process. Today, the vineyard offers a wide variety of activities for families and schools related to nature, such as gardening workshops, yoga classes, illustration lessons, sports, and handicrafts.

Landscape Architecture: JL Arquitectura Paisaje
Irrigation Project: Claudio de la Cerda
Signage Graphic Design: León del Monte
Size: 12 ha
Client: Cousiño Macul Winery
Construction: SAVA
Photography: María Jose Pedraza

Location: Avenida Quilín 7100, Peñalolén, Santiago, Chile.

Design year: 2022

Year Completed: 2023

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