When considering the design of factories, you might expect aesthetic appeal to be the least of the builder’s concerns. Olisur Olive Oil proves that this is certainly not always the case. The company’s office and production facility, designed by Guillermo Hevia Architects and located just south of Santiago, Chile is a stunning and sustainable structure that showcases modern geometric forms and takes advantage of environmentally-friendly heating and cooling techniques.
The building’s sustainable features include use of geothermal heating and cooling in the production and oil barrels area, while natural lighting and ventilation are used throughout the offices. According to the architects, prefabricated panels were one of the main materials used alongside wood, glass, and concrete.
The main facade of the building is constructed from wood, with horizontal, offset striations broken up by slightly-askew vertical elements. The combination of the horizontal pattern and strong vertical lines make the overall aesthetic less predictable. While these vertical element break up the rigidity, they are also an intentional mimicry of the olive trees that grow out in the fields.
The offices of the Olisur factory are located in the smaller component of the building. This part is clad in lighter-colored wood and glass that differentiates it from the rest of building while still using the same vocabulary. It protrudes slightly away from the building with angled vertical lines borderd by the strong horizontal floor and ceiling. To maintain an element of surprise, the windows open in slightly different places.
Photos by Cristobal Palma