Lagar do Marmelo is a recently completed olive crushing facility by Ricardo Bak Gordon in Portugal
The facility is also the latest addition to the growing array of meaningful contemporary architecture clustered in the up-and-coming bucolic Alentejo region, tucked between Lisbon and the notorious Algarve
Bak Gardon's design is a charming take on fanciful industrial exuberance, designed to be read as a strong statement from a distance but, countering first impressions, becoming more interesting as one approaches
The construction is laterally severed just below the middle of the façade, with a white top finished in cement boards sitting above a prefabricated concrete base
Set on a strip of the site that was dug into the ground, Bak Gordon's intention is that the dark grey base blurs with it so that the white top appears to hover over the surrounding olive trees
The uneven covers that wrap up the contrasting longitudinal ends of the building are coated with - inevitably - olive oil-coloured alveolar polycarbonate
At night, these are illuminated from within to create a particularly dashing result on the more closed faceted side and a neat trim to the juxtaposed frank industrial façade.
Billed as a state-of-the-art mill with a green streak, Lagar do Marmelo is something of a marketing coup for Portuguese food group Sovena, which boasts a second place position in global olive oil production and also lays claim to owning the largest olive tree field on the planet in 2010
Inside, Bak Gordon's usual playfulness with colours goes space age with an electric green corridor running through the administrative area on the top floor of the two-storied building-within-the-building that separates production and storage areas
Overlooking both, a tasting-room and gallery takes up the remainder of the floor
The tasting room is accessed by a seemingly misplaced but also enticing staircase of 1960's era-aesthetic
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