Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcellos has bright blue blocky facades

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcellos has bright blue blocky facades

Architect Jô Vasconcellos has connected blue boxes of different dimensions in a long line to form this museum dedicated to Brazil's most popular alcoholic spirit, cachaça, in the city of Salinas (+ slideshow).

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Jô Vasconcellos created the Museu da Cachaça de Salinas for the city in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, which is one of the leading producers of cachaça – a type of rum.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

The museum's elongated layout responds to the shape of the site, which is located on a strip of land between two roads. Long facades on either side present largely closed surfaces to the surrounding neighbourhood.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Sections of the east facade incorporate a lattice of concrete blockwork that disrupts the homogenous blue-painted masonry, allowing natural light and breezes to permeate the circulation areas inside.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Thick walls constructed in the style of traditional local buildings incorporate an insulating air gap, which prevents overheating and provides space for electrical wiring and other services.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

The arrangement of volumes results in a linear route through the museum, with the different heights and widths of the interconnected rooms responding to their individual contents.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

"Straight lines, flat surfaces and solid blocks have been used as significant and defining elements of the new landscape," said Vasconcellos. "The space is recreated and the perception is changed by the search for transitional spaces, different scales, open areas, gaps and volumes."

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

The main entrance is situated at one end of the building, sheltered beneath a pergola made from steel I-beams and round wooden poles.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Inside, a reception area with walls covered in images of the sugarcane from which cachaça is made marks the beginning of the route through rooms dedicated to the history of the spirit and its production, distribution and consumption.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

One of the rooms displays a variety of cachaça bottles arranged on glass shelves against mirrored walls, with a mirrored ceiling giving the impression that the space carries on beyond its actual height.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Another entrance is marked by a courtyard set into one of the long facades. It provides direct access to a restaurant and to a corridor flanked by the curving wall of latticed blocks that leads towards the shop and administration areas.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

This corridor culminates in a wide glazed opening that connects a library space with bookshelves and long concrete tables to a public square outside.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

The square was integrated into the scheme as part of the museum's commitment to supporting the local community, and contains benches, tables, stone ovens, small gardens and an amphitheatre.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

"The intention is to make the area an oasis of light, shadow, comfort and a meeting point for knowledge and enjoyment," explained the architect.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos

Photography is by Junia Mortimer.

Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos
Floor plan – click for larger image
Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos
Section – click for larger image
Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos
Long section one – click for larger image
Cachaça Museum by Jô Vasconcelos
Long section two – click for larger image