Aonni Mineral Water Plant / Bebin & Saxton

Architects: Bebin & Saxton – Daniel Bebin y Tomás Saxton
Location: Punta Arenas, XII Región,
Structural Engineer: Samuel Marín
Concept Consultant: Pablo Prieto
Client: Patagonia Mineral S.A. – Agua Mineral Aonni
Materials: Steel, Glass, Corrugated Aluminium, Timber
Site Area: 5,000 sqm
Constructed Area: 640 sqm
Project Year: 2007‐2008
Construction Year: 2008
Photographs: Franklin Pardon & Daniel Bebin

Chilean Patagonia has a particularity that is distinguished and exclusively of that place: THE DETACHMENT.

We can notice disunity, a separation of what was linked before, the surrounding elements live in constant alteration. This detachment produces cracks, isolations, torsions, new tensions. The glaciers detach from the massive ice fields, the trees get inclined by winds, the islands live separated from the land surrounded by water, and the geography is the result of energic erosions.

floor plan

Therefore, the project is generated from the interactions of natural environment forces, revealing the elements detachment. The project also makes use of the natural elements as vital energy expressing particular characteristics of a territory.

Sustainable design principles as natural lighting, high internal gains and a good daylight factor can be recognized in the project.

Furthermore, the structure can be reutilized, guarantying a long life cycle for the materials used in this building.

water structure

We can also notice The Water in their different phases harvesting one of them: the iced water produce a unique single structure, recognized in that specific location. These forms are materialized on the large glass areas of the windows and the shape of the floors.

construction process

The materials used are part of Patagonia’s modern history: a resistant material, flexible, economic and with low cost maintenance capable to tolerate the extreme climatic conditions.

Cite: "Aonni Mineral Water Plant / Bebin & Saxton" 14 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • nemo_sps

    lol, this looks just like my last project from last year. O_o

    • kudz

      nah, divergent evolution…we all come up with the same concepts, and the less parameters a design has, the more likely it is to look like student stuff

    • Coledy

      would like to see it…

      • Francisco Lavin

        I would like to see it too

  • INawe

    Been there done that. Still I must say I love the outcome. Love the finishes on the exterior and interior making for some really nice spaces.

  • B.K.

    I don´t get this project….the icebergs are broken so also the project? I think is a huge impact in a beautiful landscape,
    and I don´t see the purpose of this weird walls in the interior…
    Is like a third year project, just like nemo said.

  • rypat

    As far as responding to ice, wind, cracking, etc… it seems way too literal.

    Also, if they were trying to relate all of these things to the landscape itself — to integrate the building as another natural element, then why clear a perfectly flat plinth on concrete to set the building on? I might have been nicer to embed the fractured form into the earth at different levels, to emphasize the site specific intentions of the project.

    Overall it just seems unnecessary and over-designed.

    • Alex Leonard

      I couldn’t agree more. Although I rather like the outcome as is, the entire time reading I just wished they were more fragmented in their relation to each “module” Embedding would have been great. Also would have made it that much more contextual, which they spent alot of time discussing.

  • z99

    Though they seem to get their inspiration from the forces of nature, it appears that the building is in conflict with it’s context aesthetically… Perhaps because of the white or the concrete base (as mentioned with the previous comments)…
    I give them props for the sustainability of the project – the natural light and reusable structure, but for a project that gets its inspiration from nature, it would be better if the building blends with its natural micro context rather than stand out as an object.

  • ballistamagazine

    I’m personally torn about this project; it’s a classic case of finished product vs. process. It’s hard to discount the validity of the concept when the end product is as successful as this particular project. The concept of “disunity” seems to be counterintuitive to the idea of “nature”, which is inherently harmonious. Triumph of man over nature or a champion of modern aesthetic? Only time will tell…

  • Modern Zen Architecture

    I understand their reasoning, but my first impression was not so good.It seems so “out of place” with it surroundings. Color, shape, etc… I tried to like it, but, I just don’t. When I see the photos, with the water in the background, it works. But when I look at the overall design, against a green, mountainous background, it just doesn’t fit.

  • Nicholas Patten

    Interesting Design: Aonni Mineral Water Plant.

  • Richard Darell

    RT @marysoul: Harmonious architecture – Aonni Mineral Water Plant

  • isla

    i like the concept, the idea, but i don´t really get the exterior materials, instead of making one element they do all oposite, they break it eaven more, by the way this is so overdesigned and unessessary expensive…

    sorry mi english

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  • Cindy FrewenWuellner

    Chile water plant, brilliant imagery. #architecture

  • Andy Marshall

    RT @Urbanverse: Chile water plant, brilliant imagery. #architecture

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  • cass

    the form is just perfect

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  • António João Antunes

    I like the idea and the concept.
    Well, to reply to Modern Zen, the argument that “it doesn’t fit with the green and the mountain as a background” will disappear in the winter cuz the landscape will be covered with snow and you will hardly notice the building.
    In this case, the form itself is not shocking cuz the context is only the landscape…

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