Betillon/Dorval-Bory’s design for Fundecor’s new office began with an analysis of the site and the prevailing climatic conditions. Knowing that the tropical site would need some serious cooling, they opted for a super low-energy method that would rely on natural ventilation. Combining evaporative cooling with a venturi tube and stack effect, they designed a two-story building that would take fresh air in on one side and eject it the other.
Tucked into a hillside, the building cantilevers out to the landscape and it is on this end that the facade is open to take in fresh air. On the opposite side, which is anchored in the ground, sits a parking lot that soaks up the sun. As the hot air rises off the blacktop, air is sucked from inside the building, pulling even more fresh air in from the other side.
Inside the office building, wide and open circulation hallways provide space for air to travel, while individual contained pods act as office spaces and meeting rooms. These self-contained rooms are the only ones that are air conditioned, while the rest of the space is naturally ventilated. Natural daylight is used to minimize artificial lighting, while a metal mesh facade minimizes solar heat gain on the building. Interior materials were chosen for their ability to transmit air freely through the space. Although Betillon/Dorval-Bory did not win the design competition, they did receive an honorable mention for coming up with a refreshing concept.