Complex profiles

The unfinished Plaça d’Europa project arises from a contradiction. The objective was to provide the city of Barcelona with a more representative entrance from the airport, with towers that appear to be of tertiary use. And we say “appear to be” because many of these towers were in fact designed for residential use. This contradiction justifies the façade solution adopted in these towers.

Glass: lightness, transparency; that is the message the façade of this police headquarters building wants to give. And it achieves to do it even though the façade is nor light, neither transparent. Resorting to the horizontal serigraphy combined with the thin eaves projecting shadow over the façade contributes an image of dynamism typical of an inhabited interior. If we take a deeper look we will see the glass is quite reflective and the eaves are randomly distributed even in the opaque area of the façade. 

In IEP, the courtyard and the interior office space are perceived as a continuum. This close relationship between inner and outer spaces is one of the most interesting aspect of the building. The facade solution is the necessary resource to achieve it. This glass enclosure is freed from any structure just by making the glass work like plates resting on two supports instead of four.

The facade that closes the south face of the tower seems from the outside as a simple stick curtain wall of little interest, if it was not for the fact of being photovoltaic. However, we have dedicated it a section here given the uniqueness of the space it contains and the abstraction in its design that this allows. This curtain wall is the enclosure of the elevator core and, therefore, is devoid of many of the requirements of a facade.

Beyond the geometric complexity of Libeskind´s architecture, we want to draw our attention to this curtain wall without transoms that closes the double height entrance hall of the Grand Canal Theatre. The objective is to enhance the verticality of the plane by means of relatively close mullions and the absence of transoms. Unfortunately the black sealing cord takes on an unexpected protagonism among a tangle of white profiles, clear glass and most of the finishes in the hall also white.

Mecanotubo is one of the façade industries that most invested the latest 90s’ in Catalonia to give a unitary response to the rain screen façade.They wagered to adapt the stick curtain wall technology to this two layers facade. As it happens in Carburos Metalicos façade, the resulting inner sheet provides water tightness enough to consider the drainage cavity, and consequently the outer layer, unnecessary.

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.

Saint Paul's Crossing building attracts our attention as an example of using different façades solutions for a continuous glassed skin.On the one hand, are used unitized prefabricated panels; on the second hand, a stick curtain wall system.If the first covers most of the façade surface combining single layer panels with double skin ventilated ones, according to the façade sun exposure; the second, the curtain wall, resorts to steel profiles to resolve those areas with higher mechanical requirements or geometrical complexity.