Project Title: The Ferrero House
Land Area: 160 Sqm
Purpose: Abuja branch office for A.G. Ferrero & CO. LTD.
Design & Construction: A.G. Ferrero & CO. LTD.
Design Team: Engr. Marco Di Canto (PM) and Alessio Ferrario (ED)
Project Year: 2019
Project Location: 3264, Onex Dawaki, Abuja.
As at january 2019, the Nigerian based construction firm A.G. Ferrero commenced the erection of her branch office in Dawaki axis of Abuja. After over 60 years of operation in the country, taking on varying range of project, from works as large as the Iconic senate building of Ahmadu Bello University(ABU) Zaria to miniature projects like furniture designs and manufacturing, the firm decided to have a major branch office in the Capital city and intended to make it unique and gloriously different. The office suite, which features the use of shipping containers as major building component is certainly not a new idea in the architectural realm, but however set to make a difference on its anchor region.
Idea And Inspiration.
The Ferrero House was conceptualized at the moment it was such a necessity and it turned out to be fulfilling. According to the executive director Alessio Ferrario, who also played a major role in design and development of the structure alongside Engr. Marco Di Canto, “the idea was birth out of the urgent need for a branch office in the FCT, which could be rapidly developed yet unique and adequate”. The firm which is originally based in Makera Axis of Kaduna Nigeria, also had a branch in Abuja, but decided to relocate, The firm then chose to build something from scratch and needed it fast, a design team was set up and the container structure was proposed in a bid to bring something internationally achievable but yet different into the region and hence the Ferrero House was birthed. The 25Ft tall structure, accommodating the required varying size of office and auxiliary spaces, was constructed in a period spanning just over 6 months.
The modular office structure, made up of seventeen (17) shipping containers, was designed in three floors, each with its varying sizes and layout of the containers. The ground floor features, the company’s show room and sales office adjacent to a store. While the First floor, accessed through the stairs by the courtyard, features an interactive zone of four offices with a technical/design office, and an ambient archive space. The second floor features a more sensitive office set up, with a spacious and centralized meeting room. However one of the intriguing feature of the design is the use of its terrace spaces. This open area feature is vastly used across the upper floors, as a means to link spaces, for relaxation and place to get a feel of the outer space. The spaces gain sufficient and natural lighting trough the large windows and fenestrations. The offices are also arranged around a courtyard which is a tool to control temperature within the spaces and reduce the effect of direct sunlight.
Material Selection and concideration.
The choice of container as a primary building element over the conventional concrete and masonry blocks, was made due to its modularity and ease of assembling and reforming. The design team prefers this as it gives the ease to disassemble and transport the whole office structure to a different site in events due to future development, yet maintaining a similar design in space and functionality, a sustainable idea not readily achievable with the current conventional method of construction within the region. The choices of the materials for the internal spaces are made so to further enhance the sustainability of the design. The wooden boards are manufactured from an eco-friendly, economical, versatile, and durable material which is resistant to deformations and offers excellent acoustic and thermal insulation.
Alessio Ferrario also made it known that, Contrary to popular opinion, having a structure of this nature and standard is not necessarily as low budget as it may seem and cost only a little below a regular budget if this structure was to be developed using the conventional method. However considering the speed and its modularity advantage, it definitely outweighs the conventional method on an economic scale.
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