JUXTAPOSING THE OLD AND NEW, THE CELLA BAR, LOCATED IN THE WEST COAST OF PICO, ONE OF THE NINE ISLANDS THAT MAKES UP THE AZORES ARCHIPELAGO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN IS A PLACE TO VISIT WHEN IN MADALENA.

Designed by Portuguese firm FCC Arquitectura and interior designer Paulo Lobo, the building is the result of a regenerative transformation and expansion of a small pre-existing structure that had been abandoned for many years. They have been able to give new life to a once abandoned building by not demolishing it, but was able to restore and preserve some of the original features of the building as well as redesigning and repurposing areas of the building to create something stunningly beautiful. It really is a work of art. A contemporary creation, the building is an organic and dynamic construction which has been heavily inspired by the natural environment that surrounds the building.

This sustainable building is made by using local materials such as cryptomeria for the wooden exterior and basalt which is the dark volcanic rock of the region.

This restaurant and bar in the Azores comprises of two buildings — a remodelled barn with volcanic stone walls, and a bulbous timber extension conceived as a cross between a whale and a wine barrel. The Cella Bar is perfect during summer as you wine and dine while taking in the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. As you admire the interiors, be ready to sip on afternoon tea and savour delectable tapas while you unwind with evening cocktails. On top of the Cella Bar, it also hosts live music performances at the weekends. Constructed using a structure of curved timber profiles that steps back and forth to create gentle curves.The large windows you find can be imagined as the mouth of the whale with its circular aperture at one end. It is truly an organic and dynamic construction that contrasts with the orthogonal, classical language of the building.  The design is defined by great plasticity, both in terms of forms and materials, and is markedly inspired by the natural environment around the site making it part of its surrounding rather than just another random building. More than just a building, this giant architectural sculpture has taken references to the history of the island by complementing it while demonstrating contemporary forms of construction making it a place to visit when in Azores.

words by IEVAN DARWIN