The overall orientation of the building cluster aligns with the sun’s east west axis in order to minimize heat gain. It directs views from the buildings and extensive public deck to the river valley beyond.
The entry road off the highway into the site follows the sites contours to minimize slope and offers an unfolding of the complex to the visitor as well as offering a spectacular view of its lush context.
The complex is composed of three distinct buildings: the chocolate factory, the community space/visitors centre, and the administrative building. These structures are complimented with external spaces and separate living spaces for workers.
The first being the chocolate factory which is a linear building dominated by a high gable roof. This roof design is intended to limit solar gains and allow for passive ventilation. The building form reflects the linear process associated with the making of chocolate which visitors can observe from the deck through a glazed south wall.
COMMUNITY SPACE/VISITORS CENTER
The community space/visitors center acts as the connection between the factory, the administrative building and exterior public deck. It is at a higher elevation than the other 2 buildings and also provides views into the chocolate factory.
The administration building is separated from the other buildings to provide a breeze way to help ventilate the structures and to denote it as more private that the other two buildings. It is located across from the chocolate factory and is similar in form. The interior offices are used to divide the studio and computer training areas, while maintaining a feeling of openness
The three buildings are anchored into the slope and extend elevated over the site to the south on stilts. This allows for the site drainage to be collected in underground cisterns, while excess can drain toward the river.
The building group is connected by an elevated and covered public deck that allows market activity regardless of weather conditions. This allows for an active community space year round. In addition to promoting community activities, the roof cover above the deck also provides the best orientation of solar panels to the north and south.
Worker living quarters are situated at an arms length for privacy. Their design is addressed in a similar manner to the other buildings, and is connected to the main complex by an elevated walkway.
The design of the complex allows provides numerous phasing options for the construction of the buildings, with sections all aspects of its construction as funds are made available to the community.
The intent for the communications kiosk is to provide a portable enclosure that could be accommodated in any location. The nylon covered aluminum structure could be erected in a market place or inside an airport terminal to provide a semi private environment for users of this space.