Contemporary

The building that MAP Architects did in Borneo dock, Amsterdam, solves the envelopes in a very appropriate way at all scales.

It is a great pleasure sharing this amazing example of good architecture with all Facad3s followers. No formal boast, no last generation materials, no added gadgets for energy production, no raw land or straw; it manages to be attractive by being clever and sustainable by being reasonable. Uses local materials in an efficient way and, among other design aspects, articulates an ingenious façade, thick enough to host big openings that are resolved in different planes and with various materials according user’s needs.

We are glad to have the opportunity to speak about a façade capable of expressing so much sensitivity regarding the context and its functionality at the same time as manifesting itself as an impeccable jewel in the chromatic composition at short and medium distances.

Again, this Catalan studio proposes a clear and simple façade. The dry constructed façade is based on three layers: the main one solving air and water tightness, an inner cladding and an outer one. Someone could think the façade works properly just with the main sandwich layer – as the Courts extension in Zaragoza-. However, both claddings are needed for an improved behavior.

This hotel in Barcelona illustrates the typological confusion of contemporary façade systems, and justifies the need for a taxonomic tool such as the one that organizes this platform.

As rapidly as it has spread may disappear this resource to the double skin facade where the outer glass is patterned with a white serigraphy that gradually dilutes as it gets closer to the vision areas. It is an easy resource to blur the openings limits. An opening that, in the case of this hotel in London, is perfectly well defined over the wall in the interior skin.

What is hidden behind this ceramic tiles cladding with brick shape? A thermal insulation material fixed over a real brick wall. The cladding, far from trying to cheat us, exhibits its not even self-bearing condition by resorting to a peculiar “rigging”. ETICS façade systems allow many other finishing materials besides renderings, it’s only a matter of weight, flexibility and adherence.

The new building for Dexeus Institute in Barcelona is one of these cases where openings completely divide the façade in horizontal strips. This leads not to have the façade mechanically interrupted by the main structure but by the openings. In each floor, while the parapet – maid of reinforced brickwork- is supported on the slab and stabilized against horizontal loads fixed to the pillars; the wall above the window hangs inserted in a steel structure from its upper slab. The openings horizontal strip need to admit possible differential movements of each part of the façade.

The unfinished Plaza Europa project rises from a contradiction. The objective was to provide the city of Barcelona with a more representative entrance from the airport, with towers looking like being of tertiary use. And we say “looking like” as the program of many of those towers was in fact residential. This contradiction justifies the façade solution adopted in these towers.

The façade of the Renaissance hotel in l’Hospitalet has a peculiar thermal behaviour. It is based on retarding thermal loses with the concrete wall –thermal inertia- while minimizing the thermal leap between the two sides of this wall with a closed air cavity at its outer side. This closed air cavity has its thermal insulation improved by a reflective membrane coating one of its sides. Thermal gains in summer are controlled by the reflective capacity of the white serigraphy in the glass and, again, the reflective membrane.