Gonzalo Mardones uses light as a material for this office building in Santiago
The architects decided for this project to open up the building towards the corner, the most public place. This opening is through a large crack which serves the dual purpose of generating access and allows the passage of light across the centre of the building. In this way, the building's central part is always full of natural light, achieving a significant reduction in energy consumption. Natural light guide circulates in a Borges-labyrinth characterising the architecture of the building.
The intercropped office spaces and circulations are interspersed allowing an
interconnected series of spaces and spatial variety. The architectural
space is enhanced through a functional poly-space.
Besides the use of the roof through the fifth façade (term coined by Le
Corbusier), the building provides the basement with light wells that serve to
expand the reach of natural light. This, the architects have defined as the 'sixth façade', aimed at the sky. The vertical light allows the use of
sustainable underground ventilation and light. The concept of the 'seventh
façade' includes the idea of using mediators in architectural terms, removing
closed framing elements from site to site.
The white ‘Vanguardia Offices’ opted for the use of one material
and colour. In this case the architects felt it necessary to use white in and around offices and workshop buildings. White amplifies the light and allows it to bounce of walls and ceilings; the building is clad entirely in white steel - façades, walls and roofs.
Natural light is used as the most important material, since the light models the architectural space. Opting for the use of light in both horizontal
and vertical forms of the building ensures all venues
including circulations have natural light for at least ten hours, covering all the
hours that the building is used.