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Facades: The Latest Architecture and News

How Are Fiber Cement Panels Created?

07:00 - 19 April, 2019
How Are Fiber Cement Panels Created?, Denver Botanic Gardens / Burkettdesign. Image Courtesy of Swisspearl
Denver Botanic Gardens / Burkettdesign. Image Courtesy of Swisspearl

At the start, train cars stand ready with cement and bales of fibers. A machine processes the mixture layer by layer into panels of the desired size and thickness. However, some specific production knowledge must be considered in the manufacture of the building material. Marco Ziethen, Swisspearl’s head of production technology, explains us the fabrication process of fiber cement.

Bus Station / Guzic Trplan Arhitekti . Image Courtesy of Swisspearl Denver Botanic Gardens / Burkettdesign. Image Courtesy of Swisspearl Bus Station / Guzic Trplan Arhitekti . Image Courtesy of Swisspearl Denver Botanic Gardens / Burkettdesign. Image Courtesy of Swisspearl + 15

Why It’s Convenient To Wrap Architecture In Zinc

05:30 - 15 April, 2019
Why It’s Convenient To Wrap Architecture In Zinc, The Alchemist / Reid Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image Cortesía de elZinc
The Alchemist / Reid Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image Cortesía de elZinc

A lightweight material par excellence, Zinc is a non-ferrous metal that provides an effective solution for coating buildings exposed to adverse weather condition while simultaneously delivering a creative response to the requirements of the program and the users of the project.

When in contact with humidity, Zinc panels generate a self-protecting layer that isolates heat from indoor spaces during the summer. Rain and snow, slide easily over its surfaces, and its modular panels can wrap curved shapes or be perforated according to the architectural design, and combined in facades and/or ceilings through different shades, brightness, and colors.

Legacy ER Allen / 5G Studio Collaborative. Manufactured by MetalTech-USA. Image © Michael Moran/OTTO The House on the Cliff / GilBartolome Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image © Jesús Granada The Alchemist / Reid Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image Cortesía de elZinc Stade De Soccer de Montréal / Saucier + Perrotte architectes + Hughes Condon Marler Architects. Manufactured by elZinc. Image © Olivier Blouin + 19

Zinc-Coated Buildings: 20 Recyclable and Durable Facades

04:00 - 23 January, 2019
Zinc-Coated Buildings: 20 Recyclable and Durable Facades, Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan
Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan

Zinc is a natural element extracted from ores. Its symbol, which appears in the dreaded Periodic Table, is Zn. Through a metallurgical process of burning its impurities (reducing zinc oxide and refining), it assumes a much more friendly appearance, and later becomes the sheets, coils, and rollers used in construction. The main characteristic of this material is its malleability, which allows it to be worked easily, allowing to cover complex forms in facades and roofs of buildings.

Polycarbonate in Architecture: 10 Translucent Solutions

04:00 - 7 November, 2018
Polycarbonate in Architecture: 10 Translucent Solutions, © Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

Composed of microcell panels, polycarbonate offers various solutions for the use of natural lighting in architectural enclosures. Whether applied to facades, interior spaces or roofs, the benefits of polycarbonate, such as lightness, clean lines, colored panels, and light effects, offer a wide range of design freedom. Microcell panel technology reduces the need for artificial light and favors uniformity in the diffusion of natural light, achieving energy efficient facades and the illusion of spaciousness in interior spaces. Below, we've selected 10 projects that have used polycarbonate as a wrapping material.

© Ben Hosking © Imagen Subliminal Cortesía de Danpal Cortesía de Danpal + 33

Fiber Cement Facades in Architecture: 9 Notable Examples

05:00 - 29 October, 2018
Fiber Cement Facades in Architecture: 9 Notable Examples, Lighthouse / Room11 Architects. Image © Benjamin Hosking
Lighthouse / Room11 Architects. Image © Benjamin Hosking

Interested in building light and modular facades with a rustic and monolithic appearance?

Composed of cement, cellulose, and mineral materials, fiber cement allows us to clad walls in a light, non-combustible, and rain-resistant way, generating facades with different textures, colors, and tones. Its panels are easily manageable, perforable, and can configure ventilated facades when installed with a certain separation between the rear wall. Check after the break for 9 projects that have cleverly used fiber cement as the primary material in facades.

24 Housing Units / Zanon + Bourbon Architects. Image © Olivier Dancy Casa Hoffstad / Knut Hjeltnes. Image © Inger Marie Grini Villa GK / CORE Architects. Image © Alexander Bogorodskiy Casa GZ / Studio Cáceres Lazo. Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre + 25

13 Instagram Accounts That Showcase the Diversity of Facades Around the World

09:30 - 5 September, 2018
Instagram user @serjios (Serge Najjar). ImageZaha Hadid in Beirut
Instagram user @serjios (Serge Najjar). ImageZaha Hadid in Beirut

In recent years, social media (especially Instagram) has become an extremely important tool in the field of architecture. Instagram has become the go-to visual platform for showcasing a wide variety of architectural typologies and styles, city views, and stunning edifices that often go unnoticed. While these buildings may seem ordinary to the everyday passerby, they become objects of art for not only architects but those who stop to take notice of their design.

Below we have selected 13 Instagram accounts dedicated to highlighting facades and walls from around the world, showcasing the diversity of our cities.

Uniqueness Through Hand Embossing: A Vibrant Interplay of Light and Shadow

00:00 - 3 September, 2018
Uniqueness Through Hand Embossing: A Vibrant Interplay of Light and Shadow

Innovative and sustainable products made of natural raw materials, such as the new large size façade panels Texial, are borne of ingenuity and expertise. The fine surface structure gives the appearance of a fabric and is always one-of-a-kind because it is embossed by hand.

15 LEGO Ideas to Build and Inspire

06:00 - 20 December, 2017
15 LEGO Ideas to Build and Inspire, © LEGO
© LEGO

Thinking about resting for a few days during the holidays? We have selected a number of LEGO® sets that are sure to relax you and inspire you so that you too can enjoy these amazing, colorful, minimalist blocks by exploring the wonderful world of architecture, engineering, and construction.

With great inspirations from Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe in the Architecture Series, and some of the world's most iconic works such as the Eiffel Tower, the White House, the Empire State Building, the Big Ben or the Lincoln Memorial in Monumental Series, we invite you to test your skills and be inspired by the following LEGO® Architecture guide.

Check out below!

a+u 2017:08 Feature: Glass Façade

18:00 - 14 August, 2017
a+u 2017:08 Feature: Glass Façade

a+u 2017:08 – Feature: Glass Façade

Facades+AM Philadelphia

12:46 - 25 July, 2017
Facades+AM Philadelphia

The Facades+ conference series sponsored by The Architect's Newspaper is a robust dialogue encompassing all things building skin—bridging the profession, industry, academia, operations, and ownership. We’ve distilled the best of the Facades+ 2-day event into a quick-take morning forum with a strong local flair. Facades+AM is coming to Philadelphia for the first time this September. See the full program below.

Facades+AM Austin Conference

19:14 - 14 June, 2017
Facades+AM Austin Conference

Facades+AM Austin includes three sessions covering issues unique to the region, including innovative collaborations between architects and engineers, high performance envelopes, and the changing face of Austin's skyline. These well-rounded, expert dialogues will inform and inspire.

The Facades+ conference series sponsored by The Architect's Newspaper is a robust dialogue encompassing all things building skin—bridging the profession, industry, academia, operations, and ownership. We’ve distilled the best of the Facades+ 2-day event into a quick-take morning forum with a strong local flair. Facades+AM is coming to Austin for the first time this July.

How Physico-Realistic Rendering Helps Architects Choose the Right Glass for Facades

09:30 - 21 October, 2016

The physical properties of glass are invaluable and unequaled when it comes to the architect’s material palette. From the time of the cathedrals and the the brilliantly colored stained glass that served a functional and didactic purpose, to the modernist liberation of the floor plan and the exquisitely-framed horizontal views provided by ample windows, architects have turned to glass to achieve not only aesthetic but performative conditions in their projects.

Today, Architects face an increasing array of choices in specifying and designing with glass for building facades, as glass manufacturers propose a greater variety of colors, textures and patterns than ever before. A wider range of coatings and treatments has also been developed, allowing for a finer selection of glass panes with a combination of light transmittance, reflectance and absorption to meet the needs of outstanding architectural projects. These options affect the aesthetics and energy performance of the glass, and therefore of the overall building.

Thanks to advanced calculation tools, energy performance can now be anticipated accurately, but the graphic representation of glass is still a challenge, and yet a crucial need for architects.

Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture

09:30 - 12 October, 2016
Veiled in Brilliance: How Reflective Facades Have Changed Modern Architecture, Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel
Reflections on glass façade. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg. Architects: Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Frank Thiel

Even as modernism promoted the transparency of glass architecture, many within the movement were conscious of the monotony of large glass facades, with even Mies van der Rohe using elements such as his trademark mullions to break up his facades. But in the years since, countless uniform structural glazing skyscrapers have emerged and bored urban citizens. In response to this, unconventional reinterpretations of facades have gained interest.

Accompanied by the belief that light and brilliance could help in creating iconic architecture and a better human world, glass and metal have been innovatively transformed to create crystalline images. As a result, the locus of meaning in architecture has shifted from the internal space-form towards the external surface.

Best of Detail: Facades

07:48 - 3 August, 2016
Best of Detail: Facades

Architectural highlights from DETAIL

Let Your Building "Breathe" With This Pneumatic Façade Technology

09:30 - 11 June, 2016

Have you ever seen a building that breathes through thousands of pores? That may now be a possibility thanks to Tobias Becker’s Breathing Skins Project. Based on the concept of biomimicry, the technology is inspired by organic skins that adjust their permeability to control the necessary flow of light, matter and temperature between the inside and the outside. In addition to these performative benefits, the constantly changing appearance of these façades provides a rich interplay between the exterior natural environment and interior living spaces.

Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project + 8

Conference: Facade Tectonics World Congress 2016

18:00 - 2 May, 2016
Conference: Facade Tectonics World Congress 2016, Facade Tectonics World Congress 2016
Facade Tectonics World Congress 2016

The Facade Tectonics Institute announces its 2016 Annual Conference and inaugural World Congress. The summit will include speaking and poster presentations, panel discussions, exhibitors and workshops addressing themes related to Design Processes, Historical Evolution, Facade Futures, and much more. 

Miami Design District’s Museum Garage Will Feature a Façade by WORKac

08:00 - 5 February, 2016
Miami Design District’s Museum Garage Will Feature a Façade by WORKac, Courtesy of The Miami Design District
Courtesy of The Miami Design District

The Miami Design District, a neighborhood dedicated to innovative art and architecture, has commissioned The Museum Garage to be built as a part of Phase III of development. Curated by Terence Riley of K/R Architects, the garage will feature six different facades each designed by a different firm: Work Architecture Company (WORKac); J. Mayer H.; Clavel Arquitectos; Nicolas Buffe; K/R Architects; and Sagmeister & Walsh.

The facades will include a wall of recycled cars, a wall of traffic barriers repurposed as screens, a mural of cartoon characters mixed in with baroque details, a corner design of interlocking puzzle pieces, façade cutouts that serve as an “ant farm” which expose the activity inside, and a painting of a candle being burned at both ends.

Scheduled for completion this year, the garage will serve as a seven story mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and a garage for 800 vehicles.

Learn more about each of the facade designs after the break.

Grimmwelt / kadawittfeldarchitektur

08:00 - 19 October, 2015
Grimmwelt  / kadawittfeldarchitektur, © Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter

© Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter © Jan Bitter + 35