Nestlé Social Block / GH+A Guillermo Hevia

© Cristián Barahona

Architects: GH+A / Guillermo Hevia
Location: Graneros,
Collaborators: Tomás Villalón, Francisco Carrión, Guillermo Hevia García, Marcela Suazo
Client: Nestlé Chile S.A.
Contractor: Precon S.A.
Bioclimatic Consultant: Biotech
Lighting: Opendark
Project Area: 2,800 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Cristián Barahona, Guillermo Hevia H. & Guillermo Hevia García

The new building, part of Nestlés social block at the Granero factory (VI Región – Chile), uses a variety of bioclimatic strageties, within a company policy of rational use of energy resources and economics in the 21th century. These strategies favorize the usage of natural resources, pasive vetilation systems, air-condition and cleaning for inside spaces, natural controlled illumination, effective cost savings in the use of hydrological resources (water consumption of restrooms, etc), tendencies to find the best sustainability, quality of life, rational use of resources and protection of the environment.

ground floor plan

The program contemplates a three storey building, with different programs: First floor for employees facilities (restrooms, dressingroom and cafeteria); the administration in the second floor; the third floor includes laboraties and a educational room.

Bioclimatic systems: pasive ventilations and the use of hydrological resources

The building is crowned by a suspended roof, façades with a double-skin, the additional multiuse water pond serves as fire-water standby and cooling system through evaporation for the sun exposed façades in the hot period.

© Cristián Barahona

The double-skin, made out of corten steel, which wraps around the building, create an avant-garde image. Constructed as a continuous surface, it protects against the solar radiation and due to its separation to the building, it creats a vertical Venturi ventilation, supplying temperated air on account of the evaporation of the surrounding pond. This metalic double skin consists out of different perforation treatments, plain sheets and black glass.

north façade detailed section

The corten steel is a meterial which oxidates in a short term period, in order to create its own protection, neutralizing its deterioration. It doesn´t requiere maintenance. Engender the image of a living organizm, which changes its tonality (orange ocher, brown) in time and furthermore by the different angle of the sunbeams and changing daylight. It contrasts with the in sight concrete walls and the black metal of the roof. The rythm of the designed standart-sheets breaks the monotony of the plane suspended surface and has been systematically illuminated to strengthen the night image of the building.

Rational use of water consumption

We put a special attention to the water consumption of the restrooms and in general. Using high tecnology devices and designs, with automatic anti-vandal taps, guaranteeing a controlled water consumption, sending a strong signal of protecting both, natural resources and economics.

© Guillermo Hevia H.

The design, the materials and the image of the building are an additional value, being a reference to the social responsability politics of Nestlé Chile to the employees, the comunity and the country.

Products in this project

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Nestlé Social Block / GH+A Guillermo Hevia" 15 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Aug 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like it a lot… Double-skin facades are great in hot climates, corten steel is sexy, and the details look clean and refined. Nice project.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Double skin facades are a immense waste of material and resources for their minimal end function. How about doing skin #1 correctly and not worrying about attaching what is essentially a backup skin. More irresponsible “Green Architecture”

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’m still a young designer, but I cannot help but wonder what is particularly novel about this building? I don’t see anything compelling in its formal or spatial qualities, other than the materiality of the corten steel. Otherwise, it looks disturbingly similar to a corporate office building on its outer edge, and reminds me of a motel corridor on the inner facade of its L-shape form.

    I’m concluding that the most notable feature then, is the building’s environmental performance and not necessarily the aesthetic. But doesn’t noteworthy architecture require both?

    Maybe the more experienced designers/architects can enlighten me, am I missing something here???

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The “moat” idea is quite nice in section but having it fenced off seems to be a wasted opportunity, given its connection to the street and the public space it could have provided.

    I understand the convection cooling idea of the facade but I doubt perforated open steel panels will have any meaningful impact in siphoning heat up a facade, it’s probably only useful as a sunshade.

    The interior shots look quite spartan and cheap as well

    Budget and time constraints perhaps?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @Shab_B. Arch_LEED AP

    By looking at the site you will see that the area they had to work with is already practically an “L”, so formally I think this building is spot-on. Spatially, I think there are 2 shots and neither actually show space, so i’m not quite sure how you came to the conclusion that this building isn’t “compelling spatially.” This building has some really nice Modern Architecture references in it. The glazed corner of the buidling with a staircase behind it is a reference to Walter Gropius’ Fagus Factory. The inner fascade’s use of concrete is exceptional (someday if you become a designer you will have GREAT respect for well formed concrete walls). The way it wraps behind the curtain wall and into the building’s interior space is very nice. The overhangs are a FLW/Sullivan reference. Even the L-shape is nice in that it uses a “bridge” to connect it with the other half. Another Gropius reference. The materials scream high Modern. Having a double fascade requires extensive planning, accuracy, and communication. This building uses high industrial and cheap materials in very beautiful way. It also utilizes modern technology with the Corten Steel fascade(among other things). I love this retro-Modern building! Its industrial, yet eco-friendly. win win!

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Really like the innovative cladding system, Although I agree with Shab_b other than the cladding it looks like any other generic office building.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Easthetic and function wise, the product is intended only for existing structures, no matter how old & repulsive your building is, it can be refurbish into retro modern architecture
    by using this material.
    Conclusion: ( cost effective in building renovation )

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I find this building very compelling. However I was distracted from being able to learn about it fully by the high number of grammatical and spelling mistakes in the article. As inadequate as I find Microsoft Word spelling and grammar check, it would have picked up most of the mistakes in this article. Geez, send the articles to me and I will edit them for you!!

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