Simple profiles

Again, this Catalan studio proposes a clear and simple façade. The dry constructed façade is based on three layers: the main one resolving air and water tightness, an inner cladding and an outer one. It might be thought that the façade works properly just with the main sandwich layer (like the Courts extension in Zaragoza). However, both claddings are needed for improved behaviour.

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

The Forum Building façade has hardly been commented, maybe eclipsed at the time it was built by some other buildings in the area, and by some other aspects of the Forum Building itself. However, after fourteen years, this risky lightweight solution has completely succeed by being integrated in the town landscape. The original electric blue has slightly turn off at the same time that a salty dust patina has added enriching nuances.

The ventilated façade of the Institut Geològic de Catalunya -IGC- responds with the inner layer to the needs in terms of windows distribution that the use requires; and with the exterior, to formal aspects. The perforated corten sheet that clads the entire facade allows giving an abstract image, solving domesticity behind it. This perforated metal sheet, beyond showing a certain drawing, allows playing with transparencies, a rich composition resource possible in multilayer facades.

The world of the facade, in constant evolution, allows us to conceive today a "conventional" façade in terms of the layers order; not conventional according to the building construction techniques and materials.The main sheet is a discontinuous structure that allows to lodge the insulation in its thickness. The inside finishing is also resolved over a discontinuous structure. Only the rendering is still a rendering, although analyzing its composition and benefits we see that innovation has also reached him.

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.

We include here RBA headquarters building not with the aim of talking about the project as a whole, an analysis that would allow us to highlight very positive aspects, but just focusing our interest on the façade. That leads us to talk about its lack of sincerity. The two longitudinal facades of the lower volume are articulated from a grid that reproduces the rhythm of the concrete structure. It is not the true "structure" that we see. The façade enclosure covers pillars and slab edges from the outside hiding them in sight.

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.