Many of us spend most of our days sitting behind a computer and working. In our working environments, not only indoor conditions, but also the daily interactions with building’s façade (i.e. opening a window, closing a window blind or simply looking out from a window) have a major impact on our experiences. In that respect, as a part of an ongoing Ph.D. research, this survey investigates users' experiences in their working environments, related to the building's façade.
Facades: The Latest Architecture and News
The ventilated façade is a construction solution that uses a double enclosure distanced from each other by a support structure to generate an air chamber for ventilation. This operation creates a chimney effect that activates air currents by convection, improving the acoustic and thermal insulation of the building, and increasing its energy efficiency.
Due to its nature and manufacturing, the 3.5 mm porcelain tile is a great choice for ventilated façade cladding. Its high resistance to weathering, dimensional stability, and lightness reduce the support structure requirements. It weighs 3 times less than a traditional porcelain tile and allows large formats, up to 3.6 meters, reducing the number of joints. It also delivers high color stability, impact resistance, and low maintenance over time.
Modular coatings for facades and enclosures typically deliver fast and efficient solutions. However, many times they lack richness and character since they are repeated infinitely, without relating to the architectural design and its different functions and requirements.
These aluminum foam panels are manufactured through an air injection process in molten aluminum, which contains a fine dispersion of ceramic particulate. These ceramic particles stabilize the air bubbles, and create aluminum foam panels which provide an interesting level of detail and variability, generating unique facades with different levels of texture, transparency, brightness, and opacity. These ultralight panels can be used as flat architectural sheets, are 100% recyclable and available in standard sized formats up to 3.66 meters long (custom longer panels also available).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Architectural highlights from DETAIL
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.