“A beautiful project achieving a sustainable intervention in a delicate region”
Regional Jury Report – Latin America
Last updated: November 13, 2021 Eclepens, Switzerland
Project description by the jury
The project deals with the construction of a nut processing building in São Francisco village adjacent to the Iratapuru River in the Amazon Basin. By modernizing the manufacturing plant, the facility will provide productive, cultural and economic opportunities for the local community. The main objectives of the intervention are to enable the storage and processing of Brazil nuts collected in the area, and also to ensure adequate working conditions for employees. The building is the result of a long and fruitful participatory design process between the architects, the local community, and Natura – the Brazilian cosmetics company uses ingredients extracted from the nuts in its merchandise and became the main financial contributor for the project’s implementation.
The productive site consists of a series of independent volumes that delimit specific areas and generate the programmatic function of the building. A continuous and independent wood structure canopy roof encases all the volumes providing a uniform cover for the articulated program. The choice of compressed earth and local certified wood as main materials ensures not only the environmental sustainability of the project but also the involvement of community members who can therefore acquire new knowledge and construction skills throughout the construction process.
A lack of hard definition and flexible simplicity stand as the signature of the architects of this beautiful project, and as key elements to achieving a sustainable intervention in the delicate Iratapuru region. The jury especially praised how the programmatic function of the building is solved through the elegant duality between light roofs and the massive walls to create volumes that accommodate the facilities necessary for Brazil nut processing. The engagement of the community during the design and construction process was also considered as a remarkable contribution to social inclusion and knowledge transfer.