Kallari Chocolate Factory

This is a reposting of a 2008 project, because its original home on http://openarchitecturenetwork.org/node/1486 is threatened by extinction...


The new Kallari chocolate factory not only is a new turn in the life of the Kallari community, but also represents a very significant fact for all Latin America. For centuries, coffee and cacao industry has meant prosperity for a small group of investors and poverty for the vast majority of the continent.

This new factory represents a new turn in this industry. Not only this is a cacao industry owned and made by the people, but it is also managed and run as a community, not as a firm.

Our proposal for the new factory is, before anything else, a shelter for community activity. Being a chocolate factory, a crafts market, new activities we don't know about yet, this is the place where all this must happen: under one big roof.

Under that roof, the spaces are designed like a space station: independent modules, connected by bridges, doors, ramps or tubes. There is plenty of space left. New modules can be added later. But the objective is also to offer vast, covered open areas. Cacao processing and chocolate making is an activity that has traditionally a large open-air part, like stocking and drying, while the main factory module provides the conditions needed for finer chocolate manufacturing.

People here don't work like in a traditional factory, where there are bosses and workers, it is more something at the crossing between a highly trained space station crew and a community market. The factory is owned by everyone, and everyone must learn and know how it works, how to behave, how are the procedures. There is no special visitors area. When you visit the factory, you must adopt the same rules as everyone else.

Finally, the projects also adopts a passive attitude, trying to minimize its presence on this magnificent site, and provide a structure for more advanced experiments, like solar energy generation, recycling, researching or computer teaching. The last module of the project is the life-support module, which provides accommodation for resident factory workers as well as prestigious guests like students, scientists or chocolate experts.