The Bottles’ Congressproject by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos came as an answer to the very particular challenges presented by a wine and spirits store in unique circumstances. Located in the outskirts of the city of Braga, in northernPortugal, next to Minho’s University, the client required a system to display over a thousand different wine and spirits bottles. According to Tiago do Vale, “threequestions presented themselves as the development vectors for the project: how does one display over a thousand different references while still treating each bottle as a special, unique product; how does one address that uniqueness with a modularsolution; and how does one design a modular solution that still answers, with no compromise, the particular characteristics of a place�?.
The modular design brought order to the products’ display: “Considering we had over one thousand different bottles, each with its shape, size, color and label, the modularity of the design, with its rhythm and repetition, introduced a deliberate order in a potentially chaotic, noisy context. We felt we needed that visual systematization and subtly reinforced it with the illumination. But we equally needed to strike a balance: if we overdid it, each individual product would get lost in its context.�? The best balance between modularity and individuality was found by designing four different types of display boxes, with each design coming as a precise consequence of the particular shapes, presentation characteristics and resting needs of each specific kind of bottle.
Each module consists of four pinewood display boxes, with a storageareaunderneath. A palette of dark rich tones was elected throughout the store to convey a sense of luxury and coziness, contrasting with pinewood features. “There’s a recognizable image of what a wine store should be, with endless walls of bottle shelfs and pine boxes, but we felt this kind of wine store ended up banalizing the product. Though still establishing a connection with the traditional wine store through the use of pine woodelements, we wanted to present the product as something really special, like a luxury item, so I always had the image of a jewelry store in my mind.�? The store is located on a quiet residential area, featuring two glass fronts, one facing an urban context and the other facing a soothing park, crossed by the Este river and served by open-air sporting facilities. [Information provided via e-mail by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos; Photos: Joao Morgado- Architecture Photography]
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