Natura House Santo André by Forte Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz

August 14, 2010

Forte Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz Architects have recently completed the Natura House Santo André for a large cosmetics company in Brazil to use as a meeting place with its consultants.


Description of the Natura House Santo André by Forte Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz

When we first began the Natura House Santo André project, we came from the previous experience of designing five Nature Houses in São Paulo. These places are dedicated to the sales force of the biggest cosmetic company in Brazil, which has approximately one million direct sales consultants.

With a 20% growth on the number of consultants since 2009, the company’s intention is to create a place that enables the direct interaction with these people. Places where monthly reunions occur for new products release, with a busy schedule of trainings and speeches for the consultants, besides being always open to general public. As it is not a showroom or store (the products are not commercialized in theses spaces), these buildings were denominated Natura Houses; the idea is that here the consultants may be sheltered, they may feel at home. These houses are an initiative aiming to instruct and motivate the consultants, who will have the opportunity to try and test the products that they would usually sell only through catalog. Besides, one of the Natura brand’s fundaments is to encourage the relation between people. More than an auditory and showroom, the concept is to create a pleasant space that people may visit, where they can gather and share experience willingly.

Much bigger than this new House, the previous ones where restored buildings and shared a similar program: auditory for sales force training; product exhibition and experimentation area; living and coffee area and administrative area. However, the companies involved had to spend great efforts on these restored buildings – not only Epigram and FGMF, partners on the project, but Natura itself as well. After all, restoring five different buildings proved to be an arduous task, expensive and not very efficient.

Due to Natura’s interest to implement Houses all over Brazil, we suggested the company’s commercial innovation team an alternative strategy: to build smaller and prefab Houses, in a way to optimize the project, keep construction expenses under control and accelerate implementation.  This would also be a better way to fullfill, through a certified project, the arguments of environmental responsibility required by the client. Illustrating this possibility, we introduced Natura to the project developed by FGMF for the finals of the international competition Living Steel in 2008, where we proposed a metalic construction with high environmental performance, with flexibility to adapt at all seasons.

Natural light and contact with the garden. Dry and efficient building. Environmental certification. The possibility to replicate and custom according to local condition. An object defined by its empty spaces and by the relation between interior and exterior. These concepts constituted the Santo André project, conceived and built as pilot to future replicas. As an industrialized object, after the prototype construction an analysis on the House’s whole design, construction and operation process will be made in order to adjust its program to the usual detailment before building any new unit.

Visit the website of Forte Gimenes & Marcondes Ferraz Architects – here.