The act of modernising a familiar concept through architecture is always intriguing. While many modes of refreshing common matters to appeal the contemporary market rely on stimulating customers’ senses and revamping visualities, the delivery is often bounded by spatial experience; hence the involvement of architecture and interior design is highly crucial.
For pre-defined image of ordinary-yet-sophisticated subjects such as winery, one generally associates it with dark, rustic, and musky characteristics. However, for Portugal Vineyards—a wine concept store—that perception is shifted entirely with its first physical store, where the space is pristinely white and minimal with curvy contours that enhance the free flow of circulation. Designed by Porto Architects, the space is entirely open with a few main programmatic zones: the display area of a curated selection of Portuguese wines that changes every season, the browsing station for transactional logistics, and the tasting site where modern chairs are accompanied by wine barrels; all covered in a white coat. Almost like a laboratory, the store holds an additional industrial feel with its gridded windows.
As the exterior facade is a polar contrast of the interior, the main space is lit up with stark white light, enhancing its curves. Complementing spherical lights scattered across the store are lines of light running where surfaces meet. The geometric aggregation of forms, in variations, playfully create a canvas for colourful bottles of liquour. Although shapes become secondary, they still hold a power that determines programmatic territories. The interchange of power play becomes dynamic in a way that customers are bound to be drawn to the main products, while still are able to have the freedom of wandering around the space with the desire to explore—one of the main objectives of concept stores in contemporary times.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to rethink what-can-be and what-could-have-been. However, the translation of thoughts and ideas into materialisation is still a challenge for designers to explore and overcome. With the focus of redefining concepts being architecture-centric, it’s important to imagine expansively and then compose those thoughts into one cohesive and minimal foundation in order to form spaces that are captivating yet ever so simple.