Five Fantastic Façades

In case you missed it, we're re-publishing this popular post for your material pleasure. Enjoy!

To celebrate the recent launch of ArchDaily Materials we've brought together five projects with fantastic façades, from Viñoly's Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building in San Francisco to Holzer Kobler's PALÄON in Schöningen, Germany. A building's envelope is often people's first impression and, in recent years, have been one of the focuses of innovation in the design and construction industry. The projects we've collated show a glimpse at what's possible with façades and wall finishings.

1. Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts / Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. Image © Iwan Baan

This building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, opened in 2011 at Brown University. Providing performance space, exhibitions, installations, and an outdoor amphitheater, the center’s long structural spans, high ceilings, and large floor plates stimulate a necessary collaborative environment with flexibility. The envelope is made from VMZ Composite, a multilayered panel made up of two sheets of zinc that are 0.5 mm thick and thermo-glued on either side of a mineral-rich polyethylene core (for optimum reaction to fire). The result is striking, monolithic and environmentally efficient.

See this façade on AD Materials.

Five Fantastic Façades - More Images+ 22

2. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts / Moshe Safdie

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Image © Tim Hursley

According to the architects, “the opportunity to design a major new performing arts center was precipitated by two significant decisions: the selection of an extraordinary site crowning the escarpment overlooking the historic warehouse district and the new entertainment district, affording a 180° view of the horizon; and the decision to construct two dedicated halls for symphony, ballet, opera, and theatre.” The Kauffman Center's roof and wall-surface are clad in Zahner's Glass Bead™ Stainless Steel, which provides a smooth, large scale finish with muted reflectivity.

Five Fantastic Façades - More Images+ 22

3. PALÄON / Holzer Kobler Architekturen

PALÄON. Image Courtesy of Holzer Kobler Architekturen

For the architects, "the metallic skin of this building mirrors both the meadows and forests that surround it as well as the movements of the clouds in the sky floating by. Sharp cuts into the building façade offer wide reaching views to the pit of the brown coal mine, the nearby forest, and the Przewalski horses grazing in the meadows. The abstract cuts into the building also formally react to the neighboring traces of opencut mining. The resulting expressive architecture mediates between manmade and natural landscape and forms an emblem for the place." Using Alucobond naturAL, the finely textured aluminum facade scatters light on a micro level, mimicking the beauty of a real metal surface while maintaining the durability and light weight properties of aluminum.

See this façade on AD Materials.

Five Fantastic Façades - More Images+ 22

4. Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building / Rafael Viñoly Architects

Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building. Image © Bruce Damonte

As a large building wrapped around a uniquely shaped site, Rafael Viñoly Architects employed a physically flexible and aesthetically versatile material for cladding. Exposed Fastener wall and roof panels (made by Morin Corporation) are used on a variety of contemporary building types. According to the company the material can be used for traditional sine wave C profile or a bolder 0-24 profile.

Five Fantastic Façades - More Images+ 22

See this façade on AD Materials.

5. Central St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano Building Workshop & Fletcher Priest Architects

Central St. Giles Court. Image © RPBW ph. Maurits van der Staay

According to the architects (RPBW in collaboration with Fletcher Priest Architects), "each facet is unique, differing in height, orientation, color, and relationship to natural light. Glass, steel and ceramic are the primary elements of the skin. The ceramic is used in different shades and colors that respond to the surrounding building, thus helping to integrate the scheme within the immediate urban environment." Terrart panels provided large-format ceramic elements which were individually manufactured based on the building's specification. They are ideal for projects where large or oversized elements support wind load and a particular design aesthetic is in mind.

See this façade on AD Materials.

Five Fantastic Façades - More Images+ 22

If you’re looking for some more material inspiration, check out our new US product catalog ArchDaily Materials. You can see more on façades and wall finishes here.

Image gallery

See allShow less
About this author
Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "Five Fantastic Façades" 26 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.