Located in tower #4 of the Centro Corporativo Ekopark, this place is conditioned by various facts. Firstly, this is the only tower of the complex that has a LEED certification, which generates some building, energetic, and equipment requirements. Secondly, the place is a space of 290m2, of which, the 70% is basically part of the underground level, that why there are low lighting and natural ventilation.
The order was to implement a dining room for mainly supplying to the tower but with free access to the general public. It was calculated a daily circulation from 400 to 600 people. We sought an optimum use of the space, exploitation of the entire area, efficient flows, and generate a space that hosts after-office activities.
The average age of users is 35 years old, and they are mostly operations executives of large business; however, the space has to contemplate a diversity of ages and business positions. Additionally, near this tower, it is located one of the campuses of Universidad de las Américas, which also generated a target group that could be potential space users.
The space has to respond to the existing conditions and to the potential users of the immediate environment. It was proposed as a main piece, a “grandstand”, which fulfills three functions: 1_dinning room, 2_a events grandstand, and 3_a storage warehouse. This piece besides being functional, provides a new perception of the space, generating different environments in the entire area of the place. Additional to this piece, there more areas were proposed: a lounge, bar tables, and dining tables. All the furniture, besides the grandstand, are independent pieces, easily scrollable, with the intention of making the space more flexible to accommodate events such as theatre, live music, conferences, various shows, cinema, forums, and so on. The space can be adapted to the users of the corporate center, business events, academic activities of the nearby university, among others.
The use of the place will be accompanied by food distribution points. Firstly, the main attention bar table: this bar should distribute more than 400 lunches a day. Secondly, the secondary attention bar table: with the same equipment than the main bar table, during the night, this table changes its use for selling fast food. At the opposite end of this table, there is a pizza station, which will attend the distribution of lunches independently. Finally, all food points are complemented with a coffee-station located in the center of the space.
In terms of the place adequacy, everything must respond to the maximum reduction of the carbon footprint. According to the LEED certification and the philosophy of the study, the following strategies were developed.
1_eliminate any coating that is not essential: The constructor of the corporate center was requested not to install false ceilings, do not cast or paint the walls, do not place any type of ceramics on the floors or false decorative coverings in any area of the place. The final finishes were in walls and ceiling, a transparent water-based matte resin to seal the surfaces. On the floor, 80% of the area was polished concrete, and in 20% of the high traffic areas, epoxy resin was used, as well as in the entire area of dishes and bar tables for cleaning and disinfection purposes.
2_minimize the variety of materials: for furniture, only plywood and natural black metal were used in different formats. All this material was acquired from national suppliers and worked with Ecuadorian labour.
3_ efficient manufacturing systems: in an effort to optimize the use of materials to the maximum, all furniture design was carried out to minimize waste of the material, reduce manufacturing times, and minimize the transport and mobilization of parts. Through digital manufacturing, more than 65 plywood panels were cut by CNC - Router, optimizing each panel from 85% to 95%. This reduced the use of the material and the costs to the minimum necessary. All waste was crushed and used in organic garden projects in Quito. As for the metal, the dimensions of the furniture not only meet the ergonomic conditions, but optimize each metal plate, or each tube used to reduce waste to a minimum. Many of the pieces were modulated according to the industrial format of the material and the manufacturing capabilities of the equipment and labour involved.
4_seen installations: all electrical, mechanical and hydraulic installation were designed to meet both functional and aesthetic levels. This strategy also allows modifications and adaptations with minimal subsequent intervention. Any failure is evidenced immediately and reduces the cost and use of imported pollutants such as plasterboard, or gypsum.
5_energy efficient equipment: all installed equipment was previously analyzed to comply with LEED conditions, LED lighting, reducing the energy consumption and the heat generation in space.
Apart from these macro-strategies, the space was complemented with plant elements in the areas where there is natural light, pieces of easy maintenance and high durability signage, accessories, etcetera. The image and brand also respond to construction and optimization logic. As for the colour, industrial yellow was defined to give warmth to the space, luminosity and an "urban" character. Airship luminaires were chosen to adapt the lighting to any use that is given to the space, and more than 20 independent circuits were generated for optimal light control. No plastic element is used in the space and the constructive logics are evidenced in each of the installed elements.
Material Used :
1. Digital Fabrication
3. Raw Black Steel