The Architects' testimony

The 'Fábrica do Chocolate' project created in the former facilities of the Avianense (chocolate manufacturer), is a meaningful project that brings us memories of a recent past of the Viana do Castelo city. Considering the innovative and creative ideas of the fantastic group who manages this investment, the architecture design project will have the responsibility of recommending ideas to be implemented in a multi-functional space of four chocolate-related areas, namely an hotel, museum, restaurant and specialized chocolate shop.

Designing a chocolate themed architecture project in a set of buildings (2) modernist style of a local architect, José Fernandes Martins, the author of some of the most beautiful buildings of this period in Viana do Castelo, was a challenge of great responsibility. Creative solutions encompassing a natural symbiosis between what existed and what was being proposed and still respecting the existing urban parameters of the Municipality, had to be thought.

The importance of preserving the existing heritage and the memories of the community was also taken into consideration, along with the aim to simultaneously create an appealing and differentiated project offering innovative, engaging and unique experiences.

In addition, a new road was designed, giving answer to an old existing wish. This has brought a new dynamic to this part of the town and will definitely influence the city structure and morphology. Being architects from Viana do Castelo, we are extremely happy for having had this opportunity.

The building, characterised by its string personality associated to the chocolate production, will certainly stand-out in this historical part of the city as a building that preserved its image and identity, keeping its association to the chocolate world.

The implementation and use of eco-friendly energetic systems and materials in interior design, together with the suggestion for an outdoor vertical garden located in the neighbouring building, has enriched the project, which is intended to be a representative example of ecological urban architecture.

Branco Cavaleiro | Architects (Jorge Branco Cavaleiro + Carina Viana)