Água Sugar Mill

Água Sugar Mill

Ilha Bela, São Paulo, Brazil

Housing

Ilha Bela still has some of the small sugar mills that were built there during the last years of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century. Those listed among them are: the Santana mill, which was probably the oldest one, possibly from the 17th century, the São Matias mill and the Água mill, the best preserved. They consist of sobrados with wide verandas on the main façades, similar to other rural buildings in Brazil, such as some farmhouses in the areas of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. Nonetheless, they are different from almost all other houses, since they have the rare feature of combining in one single building the residence, the domestic chapel, the mill and the storage rooms. The buildings have remarkably fine proportions. The contrasts between the doors and windows and the wall and the design of the roof are noteworthy. This kind of building differs from that which was commonly found on the estates of the northeast, where the “main house” was exclusively used as a dwelling and the mill operated in another building. The construction technique used was a mixed one: the ground floor has stone masonry, while the upper floor has partitions of lath and plaster and stone pillars. The roof has several slopes, with long eaves, reflecting the basic floor plan of the construction. It was listed by iphan on 22nd October, 1951, and by condephatt (ex officio) on 4th June, 1979.

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