The worldwide mining company Anglo American unearths natural resources like iron, nickel, and diamonds around the globe, but their focus in Chile is mainly copper—a material that pops up throughout the 38,000-square-foot headquarters in Santiago, designed by O Arquitectos.
“Our inspiration was the crossover between company and nature,” says O Arquitectos founder Pablo Redondo Schmitt. “We worked with the tracks of nature over materials, the erosion of the landscape, and the lines of topography.”
Those geographic elements take shape as acrylic adhesives, inspired by cracked stones, across the acoustic panels on hallway and office walls. The walls of the boardroom incorporate only diagonal lines, representing the forms rock take as they break. And the reception desk and the hard ceilings above it embody the shifting surface of the earth during copper extraction, while copper itself glows under spotlights.
And while some aspects are site-specific, Anglo American’s global reach was incorporated into teleconference rooms, with a curved shape replicated in every branch so that each office has the same audio-visual conditions to best utilize the firm’s human resources.