|Categories||Architectural Design > Office buildings|
In the middle of an old factory, we were commissioned to renovate a warehouse and a series of attached sheds for a new industrialized building solutions company called E2E. Our proposal was to recycle the old warehouse and demolish other minor sheds to increase the surface of green areas and locate the new offices next to a group of existing trees.
Through a two-story compact volume, mostly closed to its direct industrial environment, the building aims to integrate nature into work spaces, opening completely one of its facades to the largest area of the shaded garden.
From a 12 x 12 m square plan and using a 1.2 x 1.5 m modular grid, we developed a mass timber structure based on coffered beams and CLT panels, that rests over a series of perimeter columns. This system reduces the section of the beams and concentrates the supports and bracings on the edge, allowing wider and more flexible spaces on the interior.
The integral wooden solution is left exposed towards the interior, while the exterior combines a glass curtain wall that uses the timber columns as mullions and a ventilated facade with fiber cement plates and lattices of the same material used in front of the service area. Thus, the building exhibits the main materials used in production at E2E, such as fiber cement and the wooden structure.
The project is located in the middle of an old building materials factory in the western area of Santiago. A place characterized by industrial sheds and large paved surfaces that accentuate the dryness of the local climate. We were commissioned to renovate a warehouse and a series of attached sheds for a new industrialized construction solutions company called E2E. Our proposal was to recycle the old warehouse and demolish the other minor sheds in order to increase the surface of green areas and locate the new offices in a compact building, integrated into nature and under the shade of a group of existing trees.
Through a 12 x 12 m square plan and two-story volume, mostly closed to its direct industrial environment, the building aims to integrate nature into the work spaces by completely opening one of its faces towards the largest and shaded area of the garden. A cross circulation connects the access with the production areas of the company. The staircase is incorporated along this circulation, dividing the floor and organizing the interior spaces according to their light and orientation needs.
Wood is chosen as a unique and fundamental part of the new building structure and its interior spaces. Timber is the only building material that helps reduce CO2 and is the alternative with the lowest carbon footprint. Despite being one of the main wood producers in the world, Chile consumes a fifth of what it harvests due to the lack of knowledge of its attributes and a lack of specialists trained for mass timber construction.
Dealing with a two-story office building, it was sought to develop a structural solution that at the same time solved the spatial requirements of spaciousness, flexibility, comfort, and defined the architectural expression of the building. A system of timber frames and rigid diaphragm of CLT (cross laminated timber), which acts jointly with coffered beams as a composite slab and horizontal torsional bracing plate, allowing to reduce the section of the beams. A modular 1.5 x 1.2 m grid adjusted to the interior spatial requirements and to the load-bearing elements of the facade, besides the enclosures and interior partitions are used as wall bracings. The main timber structure was made under a mechanized system of numerical control manufactured parts, reducing time, energy and waste emissions during the construction process.
The wood was left exposed inside the building, while on the outside it was protected with a ventilated facade of fiber cement plates over the enclosure walls, lattices of the same material in front of the services, and with a glass curtain wall that avails the structure modulation and timber columns as vertical mullions. In this way, the necessary wood protection was solved passively through design and with a low future maintenance cost. As the building exhibits the main materials used in the E2E production process, it is to be expected that this small example fosters mass timber construction in Chile.