Photo: Camilo Rebelo
It stands out on the riverside front and will change the look you have on the heart of Porto, but also the experience in relation to that, which is the main symbol of the region. The biggest novelty of the year in the city is this: the new Museum of Port Wine.
It is a space overlooking the Douro River, hanging on the old wall of the Bacalhoeiros, where it will be possible to drink a history of more than 250 years. The six-storey building, signed by the architect Camilo Rebelo - the same one that designed the Foz Côa Museum - will be inaugurated in the last quarter of this year. The great curiosity is the façade, painted in an exceptional colour: the black that preserves and enhances the nature of Port wine.
The idea of the museum is not to be a static reality, but rather to offer a sensory experience. Thus, space will make available for tasting more than 700 wine labels from various origins.
The Museum will also house secrets and specificities that are the watermark of the Porto architect. This is the case of numerology, present in most of his work. For example, the year 1756, when Marquês do Pombal declared demarcated and controlled the Douro region, appears encoded in the cellar. Camilo Rebelo decomposed the number: summed, 1 and 7 gives 8; 5 and 6 give 11. All measures used are therefore multiples of 8 and 11. The memory of the date thus holds a secret.
The wine cellar itself, a symbolic concrete wall built in the noblest space of the building, refers to an iconic imaginary: the modern Colosseum in Rome. The bottles will be placed in those alveoli to resemble shrines.
From the perspective of the architect, "it is a way of preserving memory and, at the same time, sanctifying wine".
Rare in museums, this will comprise two entrances to two different experiences: by n. 37 of Rua da Reboleira, the museological experience; by n. 138 of the Wall of Bacalhoeiros, the wine experience. "It is a current of air that makes this structure alive and, simultaneously, a sacred place of ritual and a place of public passing", says Camilo Rebelo. The idea is that the museum can be more than just an object of desire, the idea is that it can be a space of daily consumption.