Arraiolos Museum

Museu do Mundo Rural
Location: Vimeiro, Arraiolos, Portugal
Date: 2003-2008
Awards: 1º Prize for the Project of the Arraiolos Museum, by the Jury Selection Board

Client: Arraiolos City Hall

Built area 750 m2
Cost 700.000,00€

Fátima Fernandes and Michele Cannatà

Riccardo Cannatà
Dario Cannatà
André Lira
Bruno Silva
Marta Lemos
Nuno Castro

Structural Engeneering
Gop – João Maria Sobreira

Gop – Raquel Fernandes

Mechanical Engeneering
Get – Raul Bessa

Electric Engeneering
Ohm – Fernando Silva

Photographic credits
Luís Ferreira Alves

Sá Machado e Filhos, S.A.


The chosen place to carry out this small museum has an important meaning, as it is located near some of the most significant architectural presences such as the Church and the Garden of Mercy.
The area where the Museum is placed includes an interesting building, originally functioning as an oil mill where one can recognize rural typological features, even though it’s identity has been lost over the past years.
Sideways, the existence of the garden with an impressive range of fountains placed according to the axes of barroque style and articulated with a small palace of exceptional architectonical features, induces us to think that such setting has a very unique potential to become a highly public and cultural area.
It was proposed the construction of a new volume that would work as an element of transition and integration between the exterior public area and the exhibition area in the old building.
The existing building will be exclusively used as a permanent exhibition area and the new volume articulated in three levels, has been organized in order to work as an area of reception, temporary exhibitions, administrative, consulting, warehouse, workshop and toilets.
It made sense to recover the large volume to restore one of the most significant moments of the urban history of the small agricultural centre, through the exhibition of machinery and farm tools, now unused. The new body was built with a clear philosophy of contemporary intervention and simple geometry for a volumetric integration with the historic buildings.