A new development celebrating the history of Portugal’s wine trade that has been designed by Broadway Malyan has been given the go-ahead by planners.
The World of Wine project will see a series of former warehouses in Vila Nova de Gaia transformed into a world-class tourist attraction for Fladgate Partnership Group which is hoping to eventually attract more than a million visitors a year.
The new attraction will include five separate areas including Wine Experience, Cork Experience, Porto Through the Ages, a Fashion & Design Museum and the History of Drinking Vessels. World of Wine will also have a wine school, 12 catering venues, shops, exhibition space, a new square and parking for 150 vehicles.
Vila Nova de Gaia is located along the river in Porto and is the historic heart of the Portuguese wine industry with hundreds of warehouses, many dating back to the early 19th century, where wine and Port wine would be stored, often for up to 20 years.
Margarida Caldeira, who leads Broadway Malyan’s Lisbon studio, said the project was highly complex due to the history and layout of the development area.
She said: “Vila Nova de Gaia is an area synonymous with the wine industry and is made up of hundreds of warehouses that vary from up to 200 years old to more recent 20th century additions which are developed almost on top of each other on a hillside over-looking the river and connected by network of narrow roads.
“The challenges of the location has seen much of the industrial activity move away leaving many of the warehouses empty. Our client is still active in the industry and this aspirational concept is about celebrating its history while also creating an attraction that will benefit the whole city by attracting new visitors and stimulating additional investment.”
The development will see the restoration of a number of historic warehouses as well as the demolition of several newer buildings to create a new large public square which will be the centre-point of the new development and has been designed so it offers stunning views across the river and city beyond.
Margarida added: “The view from this area is something extraordinary so we have worked hard with the design to ensure that it is celebrated wherever possible, both from the buildings and also the public square where we hope that people will be able to eat, drink and relax.
“Many of the existing buildings, which are long rectangular structures which offer a really interesting special sensation, will be completely renewed with the replacement of the original wooden beams and restoring the original granite brickwork.
“We will also retain just the façades of some other buildings where the main structure is of less quality and the development will also be supported by one or two new buildings which will have a more contemporary approach but respond to their historic setting.”
Work is set to begin on the first phase in early 2018 with the attraction set to open its doors in 2020.