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Nestlé’s chocolate factory in Mexico City (located in Paseo Tollocan near Toluca) was in need of an inner pathway for visitors to witness the production of their favourite chocolates, so a group of experts suggested bigger plans for the company.
The plan was to build a museum that would be for visitors. Structural design began in January 2007. Construction was completed in March 2007.
Mexico’s first chocolate museum
The project is the first chocolate museum in Mexico, with a 300m-long façade along the motorway as the new image of the attached chocolate
The multifaceted zigzag shaped building rests completely off the ground supported by concrete pillars. It is directly connected to the chocolate factory via a funnel-shaped structure. The building has a large atrium, a museum shop and a theatre. The interiors feature thermal insulation and acoustical panels.
The first phase required a 634m² space that could accommodate the main entrance for visitors to start their voyage into the chocolate factory.
The space was also to include the reception area, the theatre for visitors to experience details of the chocolate-making process, the store or museum shop and the passage to the tunnel inside the old existing factory.
The project is an architectural experience, offering sensorial architecture among twists and folds. As much the forms and the spaces they contain, times were also pushed to the limit.
Nestlé Chocolate Museum contruction
The project took a mere 2.5 months to finish, including design and construction. The complexities of the project required a team effort and three-to eight-hour shifts were organised in order to deliver the project in time.
The concept is a playful folding shape that is evocative of an origami shaped bird, or maybe a spaceship, or perhaps even the famous Mexican folk art animal sculptures, ‘Alebrije’.
What might seem like a capricious form is the fruit of diligent design explorations and an intuition about what the place should express.
Construction was carried out by simultaneously working on the steel structure, concrete foundation and supporting columns. The final building was an assembly of all the construction elements.
The building is clad in red corrugated steel panels. The entrance along the motorway has a 9mm tempered glass façade and will form the continuation of the chocolate museum in the second phase of construction. A total of 408 Hunter Douglas colour deck corrugated panels were used for the façade. They were designed to repel and drain rain water. Plaster panels in grey and white tones cover the interiors. The colours enhance the variations of the folding planes.
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