Once you visit our factory we will find it’s hard not to like Oporto. A large city, maybe, but it’s also a beguiling one, with a lengthy history – it was known in Roman times as Portus Cale (the “sheltered port”). However, there the comparison with the capital ends: as the saying goes: “Coimbra studies, Braga prays, Lisbon shows off and Porto works”. Rather than a prettified tourist destination, it’s a busy commercial city whose fascination lies more in its riverside setting and day-to-day life.
A kernel of cramped streets, ancient alleys and antiquated shops tempers the prosperous business core. But since 2001, when Porto was declared European City of Culture, many of the city’s streets and squares have been reconstructed and historic buildings restored, particularly in the riverside bairro of Ribeira – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where the waterfront cafés and restaurants are an obvious attraction, and where Boca do Lobo Studio is located.
Boca do Lobo Team works at Palácio das Artes (Arts Palace). On this building stood a Dominican Convent founded in the thirteenth century. The square in front, Largo de São Domingos, used to be a very busy place of gathering place for business and entertainment in the middle Ages. The building was burnt down 1832. During its reconstruction some of the original features were kept, such as the north-facing arcade.
Down the road, you can easily get to Douro River and find out the city’s famous bridges – there are five more besides the landmark Ponte Dom Luís I, notably the Ponte do Infante, whose central 280-metre reinforced concrete arch is the world’s longest, and further east upriver, Gustave Eiffel’s iron railway bridge, Ponte Dona Maria Pia. For many, though, it is the port wine trade that defines the city, with its center of operations at Vila Nova de Gaia (just Gaia to locals), on the south bank of the river, the home of the famous port wine lodges.
And the rooftops of these typical wine cellars buildings inspired our Oporto. It is a cabinet in which design, technique and artistic crafts are intimately connected.
Intricately designed, this cutting edge piece was inspired by our city and the rhythmic undulating of its black slate rooftops and building facades. Through reflection ingredients such as irony, drama and extravagance were added and Oporto came to life. The cabinet is sheathed in individual scales, which are finished in a silver leaf with a high gloss varnish. Its two doors feature openings that are spanned with a metal mesh. The interior function with three glasses shelves and is finished in a silver leaf covered with a translucent lapis high gloss varnish. Oporto was conceived by Boca do Lobo’s creative director Marco Costa and created by craftsmen that are top in their respective fields.