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Fachadas: The Latest Architecture and News

A Flexible Ceramic Panel That Draws from Traditional Symbols of the Local Community

Cortesia de Flexbrick
Cortesia de Flexbrick

The terms critical regionalism, popularized by theorist Kenneth Frampton, proposed an architecture that embraced global influences, albeit firmly rooted in its context. That is, an approach defined by climate, topography and tectonics as a form of resistance to the placidity of modern architecture and the ornamentation of postmodernism. Bringing familiar elements to a particular location can allow the building to be better accepted and incorporated into the local context. This was the case of the New Maitland Hospital, which incorporated a large brick panel next to the main façade, as a reference to the community's traditional symbols.

What Materials Can Be Used for Façade Cladding?

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House of Ile-de-France / ANMA. Image © Cécile Septet
House of Ile-de-France / ANMA. Image © Cécile Septet

Cladding systems have important functions in buildings. They can confer thermal insulation, protect internal spaces from the weather and–just as important–give the building a "face", improving its appearance and clearly identifying the element of design. "Cladding" refers to the components that are linked to the structure of a building to form non-structural external surfaces. While in the past wooden cladding was the only option, there are currently multiple possibilities of materials, colors, weights, textures, anchoring systems, and many other variables available. Below, we outline some of the main materials used for façade cladding, and the projects that use them in a remarkable way:

PVC Frames in Residential Projects: Strength and Low Maintenance

PVC, as the synthetic material Polyvinyl Chloride is called, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is one of the most produced plastics in the world, reaching 40 million tons per year. Its application is quite varied and in construction it has found different branches, serving both as an input for infrastructure and for finishing.

PVC Frames in Residential Projects: Strength and Low MaintenancePVC Frames in Residential Projects: Strength and Low MaintenancePVC Frames in Residential Projects: Strength and Low MaintenancePVC Frames in Residential Projects: Strength and Low Maintenance+ 7

As Climate Becomes Extreme, How to Deal with the Building Envelope?

House with Gable / mia2/Architektur. Image © Kurt Hörbst
House with Gable / mia2/Architektur. Image © Kurt Hörbst

When talking about energy efficiency in buildings, it is inevitable to mention thermal insulation. We rarely see it in a finished building and, even in the technical drawings, the insulating layer appears as a thin hatch. But this is an element that is of vital importance, as it acts as a barrier to the flow of heat, hindering the exchange of energy between the interior and the exterior, reducing the amount of heat that escapes in winter and the thermal energy that enters in the summer. In a building with good thermal insulation, there is less need for heating to keep the house at a pleasant temperature, also reducing its carbon footprint. Currently, there are many countries that require a minimum level of thermal insulation for buildings, with increasingly strict parameters. But how should this issue be dealt with in the near future, with the worrying climate crisis forecast?

Community Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building Facades

Following news of Edelburg Development's plans to completely remodel the modernist facade of Dytiachyi Svit (Kids’ World), one of Kyiv's most notable modernist buildings from the Soviet era, and replace it with an "unrecognizable" vibrant and contemporary design, members of the community and activists protested against the intervention, forcing all parties to agree on a design competition to restore the historical facade. Dmytro Aranchii Architects was selected as the winner of the competition, with a proposal that "traces the transition from the original building to the new one" in a minimalistic and recognizable stylization, preserving the original facade and complimenting it with a contemporary intervention.

Community Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building FacadesCommunity Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building FacadesCommunity Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building FacadesCommunity Uproar Preserves One of Kyiv's Most Famous Modernist Building Facades+ 13

The Possibilities of Wire Mesh in Architectural Facades

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From creating a new parking structure with an awe-inspiring aesthetic to retrofitting an existing building, architectural wire mesh provides versatility and durability which makes it unique from other design material options.

Aesthetic and Energetic Rehabilitation of 6 Buildings Using Composite Panels

The task of rehabilitating buildings has been increasingly encouraged and celebrated for some reasons: first, by renovating and not demolishing, a large part of the material resources present are used, reducing the use and exploitation of raw materials and, in certain cases, the memory and the original urban fabric are preserved. A good rehabilitation also incorporates the modernization of the building to increase its energy efficiency, readjustment of facilities and the correction of pathologies, making it coherent with the demands of current users. For the building's owners and users, this means a better quality of life and, also very important, an appreciation of it. An element that plays a fundamental role in rehabilitation is the façade, which combines aesthetics and performance.

5 Things to Consider When Designing a High-Performance Façade

Façade is one of the most important factors in certain building types, that can completely transform the occupant experience and the energy performance of the building. The Whole Building Design Guide showcases that the facade can have up to 40% impact on the total energy use of the building. In addition to the energy use, the facades also significantly impact the occupant productivity withing a building and, of course, the appearance of the building. There are many factors that go into creating a high-performance façade. In this article, we outline the top 5 things a design team should consider.

J. Mayer H. Selected to Design New Façade of Cologne Main Station

J. Mayer H. has won a competition to design the new façade of Cologne Main Station on Breslauer Platz in Germany. The design proposal frames the sides of the rail station with an all-around façade that offers an innovative use of space by making the best of the site's circulation and natural resources. The intervention will feature rooftop landscaping with local flowers and greenery, rainwater collection, protection from rain, wind, and sunlight, and a visual emphasis on the station's points of access.

J. Mayer H. Selected to Design New Façade of Cologne Main StationJ. Mayer H. Selected to Design New Façade of Cologne Main StationJ. Mayer H. Selected to Design New Façade of Cologne Main StationJ. Mayer H. Selected to Design New Façade of Cologne Main Station+ 4

"The Art of Pattern is the Legacy of our Grandparents": Koen Mulder on the Brick Bond as a Composition Tool

"Welcome to this strange book. With all the drawings, it might appear like a manual, but it isn't. The book is as much about joints as it is about pieces. Above all, it seeks the order that is inherent in things". These words are part of the introduction to Koen Mulder's book, "The lively surface: Masonry associations as a pattern art and tool of composition". Available in German, the 160-page manual, rigorously illustrated, presents a universe of possible pattern variations that can be created when you start designing.

We interviewed Koen to find out what inspired him to talk about this topic and to understand how he managed to gather all this information, while also figuring out the impact that this type of study can have on architecture students and architects.

How to Design and Install Seamless Translucent Polycarbonate Facades

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Translucent polycarbonate panels boast unique and striking aesthetics while simultaneously maintaining efficient functionality. They can add depth and color to a façade and may adapt to meet a wide range of performance requirements, from temperature resistance to impact resistance to UV protection and more. Rodeca, a leading company in the polycarbonate panel industry, offers high-quality products with high customizability vis-à-vis colors, transparency levels, treatments, profiles, sizes, joint systems, and more. Below is a detailed list of these many options, accompanied by diagrams and installation steps. We also discuss several case studies where polycarbonate facades have been used to great success, taking full advantage of the options available alongside the intrinsic aesthetic qualities of the translucent panels to complement and elevate their designs.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia Business School Carves Out a Niche with Crystalline Curves

Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus expansion has ushered in a crystalline district of glass-clad buildings amid the masonry vernacular architecture of Harlem. The latest additions to the 17-acre, $6.3 billion campus, which was master-planned by SOM, are two buildings designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with FXCollaborative that provide a new home for the Columbia Business School. Set to open in early 2022, Henry R. Kravis Hall and the East Building rise 11 and 8 stories, respectively, and provide 492,000 square feet of classrooms, public space, and faculty offices.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia Business School Carves Out a Niche with Crystalline CurvesDiller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia Business School Carves Out a Niche with Crystalline CurvesDiller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia Business School Carves Out a Niche with Crystalline CurvesDiller Scofidio + Renfro’s Columbia Business School Carves Out a Niche with Crystalline Curves+ 6

Fluid Facades: Creating Movement in Architecture With Curtains

Fluid Facades: Creating Movement in Architecture With CurtainsFluid Facades: Creating Movement in Architecture With CurtainsFluid Facades: Creating Movement in Architecture With CurtainsFluid Facades: Creating Movement in Architecture With Curtains+ 15

Curtains can provide a freer and more dynamic flow in architecture. These elements are usually intended to protect the interior from sunlight or create visual privacy, but they are also used as decoration or as room dividers. Since they are very movable and flexible, curtains are becoming a popular choice for architects and interior designers, creating layers between interior and exterior spaces that transform the environment through light and shade. Here, we have gathered some examples of projects that use curtains, particularly in the facades, showing how this solution can affect the overall impression of the design.

Cartier Shinsaibashi Façade / Klein Dytham architecture

Cartier Shinsaibashi Façade / Klein Dytham architectureCartier Shinsaibashi Façade / Klein Dytham architectureCartier Shinsaibashi Façade / Klein Dytham architectureCartier Shinsaibashi Façade / Klein Dytham architecture+ 16

Osaka, Japan

How an Insulated Metal Panel Envelope Can Meet Fire Safety Codes

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The way in which a fire evolves largely depends on the materials that constitute the building, as well as how it is designed. For this reason, there exist a number of fire safety requirements in building codes that must be followed during the initial design stages, as well as the physical construction of a building. In addition to these building codes, there are other considerations that must be taken into account such as thermal comfort, acoustics, and accessibility. When specifying a material or product for part of a building, the architect or design professional must pay close attention to meeting these demands. An example of a suitable material choice is the Insulated Metal Panel (IMP), which can have superior thermal properties, various appearance possibilities and good fire resistance.

Passive Ventilation, Shade, and Unique Aesthetics: 3 Case Studies of Perforated Enclosures

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Passive Ventilation, Shade, and Unique Aesthetics: 3 Case Studies of Perforated EnclosuresPassive Ventilation, Shade, and Unique Aesthetics: 3 Case Studies of Perforated EnclosuresPassive Ventilation, Shade, and Unique Aesthetics: 3 Case Studies of Perforated EnclosuresPassive Ventilation, Shade, and Unique Aesthetics: 3 Case Studies of Perforated Enclosures+ 16

Perforated wall panels offer a variety of benefits: they can provide passive ventilation, shade, and unique aesthetics to any façade. In the case of companies like Dri-Design, which specializes in customizable and sustainable metal wall panels, perforated panels can be produced according to a wide variety of specifications, including different colors, materials, sizes, textures, shapes, and styles of perforation. Dri-Design’s perforated imaging series even allows architects to apply images onto their facades by varying the size, location, and density of the perforations.

Below, we examine three case studies of buildings using different perforated panels, considering each of their panel specifications and overall aesthetic effect on the buildings.