Nestlé Application Group Building

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Nestlé Application Group Building

Mexico based architect firm Rojkind Arquitectos has designed an industrial building for Nestlé which does not look like a factory, this new building is located on the outsides of Toluca, near Mexico City where to accommodate laboratories, offices, auditorium and tasting area.

Reyner Banham argues in his “A Concrete Atlantis” that “there is a causal, cultural, and conscious connection between” some “masterworks of explicit architectural modernism” and “the utilitarian structures of a certain period and type of North American industry.” Since the first decades of the 20th century, from Loos and Berhens to Gropius and Le Corbusier, among others, a constant trip was made back and forth from architecture to industrial building –until then at the margins of what was properly considered architecture. A trip that still is a characteristic of contemporary architecture. To re-imagine industrial building was one of architecture principal tasks and a way to pay back a debt for the help that industrial building gave architecture to get rid of the formal and stylistic burden of two centuries of rhetorical academicism and empty eclecticism. Re-imagining was understood as the invention of a new image between an operative logic and a mediatic logo. The work that Rojkind Arquitectos has completed for another pair in Nestlé factories can be signed on this streak. Starting from the hallway to its chocolate factory located on the outsides of Toluca, near Mexico City: a structure made out of faceted planes attached to the existent factory that works as a Museum that still has Phase 2 to develope. The second assignment, on the industrial zone of Querétaro, a Laboratory building which main objectives are: To be the open inovation example for Nestlé and the rig driver for Nestlé Mexico through continuous consumer, client and business relevant innovation for flexible manufacturing, to be the packaging competence centre and innovation drive for Nestle Mexico, and to operate as a satellite to PTC Marsyville to become the centre of competence in liquid beverages in Latin America. In addition to the relation with existing industrial structures, this new commission involved an extra challenge. In 1996 UNESCO declared the historic center of Queretaro World Heritage Site, which had unforeseen effects even in the industrial periphery: the new building had to be an arched portico –tradition oblige. Rojkind faced this issue reinterpreting both the arch and the portico. If an arch is a still fragment of a dome or –what is the same– a dome is an amplified arch turning over its own axis, doesn’t matter: a dome can fulfill the demand for an arch without falling back on clichés. In this case, a series of intersected domes, multiplied as a foam, form the matrix of an open and continuous space –the portico– which expands while another space, formed by simple boxes cladded in a satin finish reflective glass , contains the expansion of spheres –which in turn extrudes– and houses the laboratory program. While the apparently metallic and impregnable exteriors are opaque, the interiors of these boxes, painted in different colors, have an almost theatrical quality: in their white working coats, researches float in a continuous blue, yellow or green, cut out against a contrasting color. Sometimes, when one of the exterior panels reveals itself as a window, these interiors can be guessed from the outside. Maybe elsewhere this project would have been built using sophisticated technologies for the customized production of specific parts according to the complex geometry of the spheres. Here, this geometry had to be translated from formal and spatial logics into a simple, almost colloquial constructive logic, which allowed local construction builders to build the foamy space by means of the physical intersection of semi-spherical domes assembled with arches and rings of steel rods. The final result is a series of unified contrast: metallic, glossy exterior, with and against brilliant, colorful interiors, the abstract planes of the exterior boxes, with and against the exuberance of the connected spheres. It may be that the strength of this project results from this play of opposites that, in a dynamic way and depending on the observer position, can be dominant in a moment and discrete the next one. Industrial building recovers that way, re-thought and reloaded, part of that which itself gave once to architecture: clarity and force.


SUPERVISION: FLAVIO GUERRERO, CRISTIAN MORENO CONSTRUCTION: SLCI ENGINEER JOSE SOLIS FACADE ENGINEERING: VYCISA [JUAN PABLO CASILLAS, CYBELLE HERNÃNDEZ.] STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: JUAN FELIPE HEREDIA M.E.P.: QUANTUM DESIGN FURNITURE: ESRAWE DISEÑO / ARNE QUINZE CARPETS: INTERFACE

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25 photos and 21 drawings

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