Nestlé Chocolate Factory/Museum in Sao Paulo gets a makeover from Metro Arquitetos
The Néstle Chocolate Factory was originally built in Brazil’s largest city in the 1960s, its blocky concrete and red-brick mass opting for function over aesthetics and whilst a portion of the building was designed to welcome the visiting public for informational tours of the complex, little consideration was given towards visual stimulation through the architectural design.
Last year, local practice Metro Arquitetos inserted a series of towers and walkways on the exterior of the factory building, a lower access point, a set of stairs and an elevator for the use of visiting museum-goers. This stark scarlet extension stands in direct contrast to the basic factory/museum building and provides a invigorating addition to an otherwise unexciting volume.
Aside from pepping up the external appearance of the Néstle Chocolate Factory, Metro’s additional task was to correct a handful of oversights from the original plans, i.e. separate the flow of employees and museum visitors, provide a simple route through the museum, and demarcate the existing building with a strong character.
The most noticeable element of the designers’ scheme is the vibrant red hue selected for the walkways, with laminated glass panes with red film forming the basic façade of the towers and pedestrian channels. These tubes feature roofs clad in flat steel sheets for enhanced acoustic and thermal performance while the floors incorporate perforated steel plates which contribute to natural ventilation and drainage.
Metro Arquitetos explains: “The structural geometry and the materials used are designed to provoke a sensory and perceptual experience as well as contributing to the seizure of information about the history and production of chocolate spread along the route. Inside the track, ten core themes were designed according to the plant’s production, from raw materials through the different stages of production to the final stage of packaging. Each core has colours, materials and character as a distinctive soundtrack, narration and special scenery.”