In our projects it is crucial that shape and atmosphere come from the information the site provides. In the way, we came up with the idea that would become the driving force of this building, the atmospheric decontextualization. The requirement was unique and invited us to generate an atmospheric dissociation in the experience of the place.
The assignment was to design the main and satellite lunchrooms for an industrial facility. Due to the quick growth that this company has had, the number of employees has increased significantly. In the search for the welfare of the workers themselves, the insertion of several new projects was imminent. This type of industry requires its processes to be carried out indoors. In these places there is a high level of temperature and noise, no contact with the exterior, and the need for a high level of concentration. Workers have one hour for lunch, during this time they rest and get some fresh air before returning to their activities.
It was decided that the main function of the dining room would be to detach the workers from their work activities. The challenge was to achieve spaces with a completely different atmosphere compared to an industrial building, seeking tranquility, lighting, silence, and contact with the vegetation and the outdoors. The design of the building was based on using construction systems that would establish a dialogue between the dining pavilion and the industrial buildings. Without trying to imitate the form, a functional architecture was chosen, leaving the tectonic system of the building apparent at all times.
A hybrid concrete-steel structure was chosen. The concrete provided acoustic-thermal insulation. The steel allowed us to make the system lighter by turning the building into a raised pavilion, with larger spans and floor-to-ceiling windows that visually connect to a courtyard garden at all times. This decision also helped to speed up the execution time.
We sought to link the materiality of the project with the company's brand by pigmenting the concrete. We chose a tone from the pantone range of the company's graphic identity. The sobriety of the steel and the neutral tones of the other materials provide an unbeatable scenario for the vegetation. The landscape project seeks to use only endemic species. The site’s stone was used, it was extracted from preliminary excavations. In this way, vegetation, ground and stone belong to the site and form part of the natural landscape of the region. This makes the experience of eating there feel like visiting a light and simple pavilion, within a garden that contrasts with the workday that takes place inside a warehouse.
The project consists of two dining wings and two service wings. The kitchen and bathrooms are located within apparent concrete boxes that contrast with the fully transparent dining blocks. A clear scheme of served and servant spaces is established and articulated through an interior courtyard garden. This invites the inhabitants to experience their surroundings from another perspective and helps to accentuate the desired atmosphere. The dining pavilion rests on a parking lot, this concrete base emphasizes the light and clear language of the dining room.
Finally, this dining room begins a new era for this plant. This is the first of a series of projects aimed at improving the well-being of the workers. Dining rooms, sports facilities, schools and workshops are planned to be part of the support that the collaborators of this great industrial community will have at their service.
Miguel Montor / Taller de Arquitectura