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Puma Energy Latam Headquarters

Elegance and Lightness of Form


Puma Energy Latam Headquarters
By Ujal Gorchu -

An open plan has been a dream of numerous modernist architects since the early 20th Century. Excited by the promise of an infinitely flexible space, architects like Mies van der Rohe spent their entire career trying to perfect this architectural typology and its technical implications. It has been nearly a century since Mies produced his first drawings for the Cantor Drive-in Restaurant in 1946, and open plan buildings are now becoming an industry standard for offices and multifunctional spaces. From the Centre Pompidou by Piano, Rogers and Franchini to the Veles e Vents building by David Chipperfield and b720 Arquitectos, open plan layouts have proved they provide the necessary flexibility for the dynamism of the 21st Century workspace. However, these types of spatial formulas are not universal and require a specific sensibility in order to be
fine-tuned to a particular context.

Puma Energy’s regional headquarters for the Americas stands in the southwest corner of a fuel tank terminal in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Part of a bigger renovation project, the building sits at the crossroads of lush Caribbean tropical vegetation and a westernized industrial landscape. In such geopolitically charged contexts, architects are usually faced with the question of the “attitude” of the building. A building can take a radical approach and declare its autonomy, or it can choose to completely dissolve into its surroundings. What Ruiz Pardo - Nebreda decided to do is to take the long-practiced architectural typology and execute it in a way that strikes a balance between elegance and simplicity.
The project’s strictly defined spatial language reflects the pragmatic nature of an industrial site while still maintaining visual transparency and permeability towards nature. A building becomes an empty canvas upon which the two contrasting realities of the site are reflected.

The four-floor building...

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