Stone

The new building for the Dexeus Institute in Barcelona is one of the cases in which the openings completely divide the façade into horizontal strips. The façade is thus not mechanically interrupted by the main structure but by the openings. On each floor, the parapet made of reinforced brickwork is supported on the slab and stabilized against horizontal loads fixed to the pillars, while the wall above the window hangs inserted in a steel structure from its upper slab. The horizontal strip of openings needs to allow for differential movements of each part of the façade.

The Hotel Omm facade seems to us an interesting case study in many regards. It was a wise strategy to orient the openings towards the main avenue, Passeig de Gràcia, thus avoiding prying eyes from the building on the opposite side of the street as well as direct solar gain. Also, the bold materialization of this strategy involved transforming the outer layer of a rain screen façade into a series of lightweight walls that emerge from the façade as fish scales.

Years after the construction of the AC hotel in the Forum area, the one in Sants was built. The constructive solution adopted for the rain screen facade is practically the same in both cases. Again a lightweight enclosure when the use demands low thermal mass solutions.Again a reinforced frame supporting the window as the necessary structure to release an opening in this unidirectional facade structures. This frame, originally conceived to assume tolerances between the brick wall and the window, far from losing its sense gains new functions in that sort of facades.

If the inner layer of the rain-screen façade at the Hotel AC was innovative, it was still more innovative the proposal for the neighboring office tower for the Zona Franca Consortium. Again the exterior image is a sober stone skin anchored over aluminum profiles; but on this occasion the inner layer made of boards over a steel framing was prefabricated, arriving to the site as panels.

The AC Hotel was one of the first buildings in Barcelona where it was used a ventilated façade system with a light interior layer made of cement boards over metallic folded sheet profiles. Since then, these systems have evolved looking for a clearer solution for the edge of the slab according either to the continuity of the thermal insulation as well as to guaranteeing air tightness –achieved by the cement boards and an adequate joints treatment.

The building that B01 Architects built for Carburos Metálicos in Barcelona's Aragon Street, together with a great number of examples of the work of the Catalan architects Tous i Fargas, represents a step forward in the development of industrialized constructive systems.