Contemporary

This emblematic building at the London financial district is characterized by keeping its formal unity beyond the differences existing in the design of the facades depending on their orientation. Case "Devoid from human scale (034)" talks about the southwest façade of this same building.Southeast and Norwest facades call our attention due to the sobriety that confers them the enormous glazed surface, only interrupted every three floors by horizontal bands of stainless steel.

Batlle and Roig resort in this occasion to a stick curtain wall where partial structures are assembled at each slab front without physical continuity between them. Glass panes are then supported over those partial structures so as to close the façade (have a look to "Cadireta" curtain wall structure). This structure system does not need that mullions keep verticality along the whole façade, and so they do; besides, Batlle and Roig show only one mullion every two glass panes.

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.

In this case study we want to emphasize the constructive solution applied either in the facades as in the roof: an ETICS system coated with ceramic tiles. External thermal insulation construction systems have come to stay. Like the ventilated façade, these systems allow the complete continuity of the thermal insulation in front of the structure. The great difference is that, if the majority of ventilated façades clearly show the breakup due to the open joints, in the case of ETICS with a ceramic coating, the grouting permits making the joints practically imperceptible.

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.

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.

The curtain wall that closes the large openings of this public library is solved by looking for the neutrality of which we spoke in "Steel mesh reinforced ETICS (019)" referring to the ETICS solution.The slenderness of the mullions, steel platens instead of tubular profiles, the absence of mullions in the corners; and the negation of the interruption that might have been the intermediate slab; are resources aimed at dematerializing the skin establishing a very intense visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces.

The architects use an ETICS solution for the facade of this public library in Sant Gervasi. Formally the solution is very appropriate. The continuous coating offered by the mortar rendering allows defining a series of abstract volumes on which extend the garden of the Villa Florida.