Duwest Distribution Centre


Location: Zona 9 Guatemala City
Architects/Interior Designers: Studio Domus
General contractor: Studio Domus
Project area: 22,604 sq ft / 2,100 sq m 2 
Project year: Design/Completion: 2013
Photography: Alejandro de Leon

The main feature of this project is having achieved in 22,604 sq ft, the coexistence of two different architectural designs: an old house dating from the 1950s declared World Heritage by the Institute of Anthropology and History of Guatemala, and a brand new building with a contemporary design, newly built in January 2014.

Studio Domus had designed the Duwest headquarters in another building in Guatemala, achieving great results in defining their corporate image, “The advantage with Studio Domus, is that they are already familiar with the company’s identity” states Armando Soto from Duwest. “In addition, great results were obtained in the headquarter’s offices, since they were able to reflect in the architecture our corporate identity, through the colors and displays used”.

The client decided to renew the property and give it a functional and productive use: the original house would suffer some changes in order to become a distribution center while joining a new building. The whole design should integrate a showroom, a distribution center and the administration offices.

The design of this offices feature the challenge of incorporating two opposite architectural interpretations, making them meet the same commercial end; it was very valuable to preserve this property and give it a dynamic and productive use.

The intervention was aligned to all the requirements from IDAEH: the most valuable household materials were adapted to create a design that subtly migrates from classic to contemporary: the central part is occupied by the original house: on the first level locating the reception, showroom and central billing area, then connects to the second level through a modern slipway, reaching the new building which is defined by a contemporary-dynamic and clean architectural language. It breathes modernity and minimalism.

As for the interior design, it unifies the whole project from the inside. The carpet provides a consistent path and follows all areas connecting them. We decided to use resources such as color, materials and furniture to merge the two stories:XXXX the original wood doors are combined with new handles, the internal antique wooden skies were treated to restore its original color and were given a touch of brightness. We used Herman Miller chairs and desks, as the internal space is open, there are no divisions in the operational area . The only two private offices are those of the two managers, which in turn contribute to the urban environment since they connect directly to the street.

In conclusion, the project responds to the needs of the company with a contemporary, functional design. Meanwhile, adapting an existing building to complete a purpose outside of its nature, demonstrates our commitment to sustainability, since we saved resources that otherwise would have been used to demolish the old house and build something new from zero.