world's first biodynamic tequila distillery crowns top of extinct volcano in mexico

world's first biodynamic tequila distillery crowns top of extinct volcano in mexico

biodynamic community: imagining a new agro-tourism ecosystem


Esrawe Studio collaborated with architect Francisco Pardo to design the world’s first biodynamic tequila distillery, envisioned crowning the top of an extinct volcano in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. The project is at the heart of a new agro-tourism ecosystem that weaves along a continuous corridor of sustainable agriculture and free-range. In addition to the distillery, the ‘Biodynamic Community’ proposal will be home to a carefully tended extension of biodynamic agro-ranching, agro-tourism, natural hot springs, ranches, ethnobotany for homeopathic products, regional cuisine from edible gardens, sale of homegrown products, workshops for the practice and teaching of traditional crafts, a cultural center, and school, artist residency, and seminars.


‘This wide-ranging project was developed from the observation and learning of artisanal techniques, the differentiating elements of the area, and the honesty of the materials through a language that speaks of respect for a rich cultural heritage and an experience of a direct relationship with nature,’ writes Esrawe Studio. 

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inside the distillery area



distillery, ranchos, and hotel rooms 


As a temple placed in a quarry, the biodynamic community distillery is half-buried, with panoramic views of the valley and a relationship of containment and tension with the natural stone surrounding it. This allows, on the one hand, an ideal molecular environment for tequila distillation, emulating traditional processes. On the other hand, it makes perfect use of the excavation materials, which will later be used in the small constructions that will populate the land. The building is composed of a series of pillars and cylindrical structures — which blend with the large tanks — made of locally produced brick that holds a single fifty-meter diameter circular slab.

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temple-like design 



Esrawe Studio (see more here) and Pardo (see more here) hid the distillery programs inside the structures, allowing guests to wander around a forest of pillars, evoking a temple. The tahonas and the copper still, two traditional stages of the distillation process, are illuminated under Boolean openings, creating moments of expositive character.


In an operative and theatrical action, the agave piñas are thrown from the jimador area through a sizeable conical funnel, placing them in the center of the space between the ovens; the distillation process develops radially from this point. A large burnt wooden lattice embraces the construction, creating a protective barrier against the sun rays and filtering the light, favoring natural ventilation to provide the necessary environment for fermentation.

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patio-inspired housing prototypes blending with the landscape



With panoramic views of the valley and distributed along the hillside, the housing prototypes blend with the landscape, merging with it and integrating into the environment. Inspired by the patio as the heart of traditional Mexican living, the stone base embedded in the mountain holds the most private areas of the house, which are articulated by patios and heavy stone walls, creating intimate and silent moments as well as cooling the temperature in the rooms. A wooden structure of vernacular inspiration rises above the basement as a pavilion to shelter the activities of inhabitants, offering a view to the north over the large terrace.

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cabins recalling the traditional, open 3-stone fine


For the hotel rooms, the architectural duo envisioned a series of parallel walls of sculptural character transversally embedded in the mountain slope. As a tribute to ‘regional’ memory, the discreet and vernacular construction integrates the mountain into the room’s interior, from where guests can enjoy an extensive panoramic view to the north. A more intimate patio, meanwhile, provides privacy and a framed mountain scenario to the south. This simple and locally-inspired construction system weaves the rooms together. Moreover, integrating wide stone walls built with local materials and a continuous wooden cover evoke regional nostalgia and stimulate the natural topographic curves of the place to merge with them.




cabins, hot springs, and apothecary


On a young forest hillside, cabins are spread to the west of the property, where guests can catch a glimpse of the horizon through thin tree trunks. Inspired by the traditional open 3-stone fire — a resource of great importance for the historical and cultural legacy of the communities in the area — the shelters are surrounded by pristine nature, and their wooden facades blend in with the landscape going unnoticed by hikers. They merge with the forest in the dark, and the light emanating from inside flutters like fireflies at night. The pile system allows an easy set-up on any slope or terrain, and the narrow proportion seeks to avoid the existing trees, respecting the premise of having a minimal impact on the site.

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the ‘Biodynamic Community’ proposal is also a place of wellness and meditation



Among Mesoamerican cultures, the Temazcal ritual of sitting in a sweat lodge had both a healing and cosmological meaning. ‘It represented the interior of the Earth and was a place of transition between the living world and the underworld. It was conceived as the entrance to the afterlife,’ explains Esrawe Studio. This ancient tradition inspired the creation of small stone constructions distributed on both sides of the river. Some are embedded in the ground, others are open to the sky, and all are hermetic in appearance, evoking pre-existence or ruin. Once built, these structures would offer different experiences related to wellness and meditation through water and temperature.


‘Connected through a wooden pathway that links both sides of the river, these sculptural elements materialize as stone volumes lost in nature. Through the open-air hot springs, the user transits between outdoors and indoors, experiencing the range of temperatures,’ notes the architects. 

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hotel rooms envisioned as series of parallel walls of sculptural character







project info:


name: Biodynamic Community

location: Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico

status: work in progress

project area: 29,700 sqm

site area: 820,000 sqm 
architecture and interior design: Esrawe Studio and Francisco Pardo

furniture design: Esrawe Studio 

experience consulting: Claus Sendlinger and Slowness

design team: Laura Vela, Ariadna López, Rodrigo Olmos

visualizations: Emanuel Miramontes, Yair Ugarte, Madián Alvarado, Arturo Aquino



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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