The facade can be considered the most important signifier of a building as the shell separating the outside from the inside. The expressive power of this protective shell should not be underestimated, because the appearance of the architecture has a decisive influence on the entire environment. The Lower Bavarian company Moeding Keramikfassaden specialises in meeting this important task in architecture with a special material.
Brimming with choice
The architect Prof. Thomas Herzog had already had the idea for the modern brick facade in the 80s, when he began to rethink hanging ceramic facades. The modern form of the ceramic facade – a ventilated brick facade system attached to an aluminium structure – is not only timeless, but also highly sustainable and highly customisable. Architects are free to choose from two and three-dimensional shapes and colours. From the desired colour and type of glaze to different special formats, today almost any design wish can be fulfilled thanks to modern technical capabilities.
'The facade can be considered the most important signifier of a building as the shell separating the outside from the inside'
In addition, the ceramic facade offers all the advantages expected of a sustainable building material: Made from the natural raw material clay, free of heavy metals and other harmful additives, a ceramic brick facade offers optimum thermal, fire and sound insulation and is a good investment for many years, which over time will lose none of its original beauty. In addition, rear ventilation ensures a balanced, healthy indoor climate and contributes positively to the overall issue of climate protection.
Kind of random with a system
The fact that the system is not only farsightedly well thought out, but also a visual pleasure, is shown by the many projects that have been realised and which speak for themselves. One of these is the seven-storey H7 office building in Münster, designed by Andreas Heupel Architects, considered to be the highest timber hybrid building in North Rhine-Westphalia and honoured with recognition at the German Timber Construction Awards in 2017. The clear focus of the project was sustainability, to which the ceramic facade panels also made a decisive contribution.
The product chosen was ALPHATON®, executed in various gradations of the colour green in order to envelop the building in a kind of leafy mantle. The grooved elements were produced in their own special formats and are particularly fascinating because of the semi-transparent glaze, which lends the material a natural appearance. Due to the fine relief of the panels, the colour additionally changes between light yellow and deep green depending on the incidence of light, giving the facade an incomparable liveliness.
Leaving nothing to chance
For the Parkapartments am Belvedere project in Vienna, Renzo Piano was also looking for something special in order to accentuate certain parts of the facade with special details. For the corners of the building, curved ceramic elements glazed in an individual shade of grey were used. These elements were manufactured using a specially developed production process and, to date, are still unique.
The framing of the windows and corners of the building is soft and undulating thanks to the 60,000 individual parts, coupled with a delicate change of colour between shades of grey, red and blue, depending on the levels of available light. The suspended, rear-ventilated ALPHATON® system is impressive here not only because of its design flexibility, but also because of its rapid installation as a result of ambitious deadlines.
The Hamburg office of ABK Architekten Bienmüller + Kollegen has also displayed a burning passion for ceramic facades. They wrapped the 67-metre-long structure of the new fire station in Othmarschen in a bright red to effectively communicate the purpose of the building to the outside world.
The LONGOTON® ceramic elements, which were coated with a specially developed black flame for this project, have a three-dimensional effect and yet appear different due to different angles of incline. This dynamism, combined with changing light and shadow conditions, gives the facade of the architectural structure a wholly unique quality.
Giving architecture a face
These and many other examples show the wide variety of Moeding ceramic facades, and yet they all have one thing in common: they convey an important message to their immediate surroundings and do so with a strong expressiveness that remains unobtrusive. In addition, they also convey the uniqueness of built ideas in which sustainability plays an increasingly important role.