It is a great pleasure to share this amazing example of good architecture with all Facad3s followers. There is no formal boasting, no latest generation materials, no added gadgets for energy production, no raw land or straw. The building manages to be attractive by being clever, and sustainable by being reasonable.

Recycling is a must. When recycling old brick walls, we tend to think that the recyclable element is the brick; we need to separate it from the rest of the elements and clean the mortar. It is cleverer to understand that a wall is much more than a brick, and thus, we can recycle it as panels! We reuse the small element, that is, the brick, and we benefit from the work of the craftsman of the time when the original building was erected. 

A highly prefabricated system reproducing the image of a traditional brick work. (Like in case Light prefabricated “brick” work).

The challenge is erecting a new building in an old neighbourhood being respectful with the image and material character of the surrounding buildings.

Elegant and well-resolved contemporary conventional façade solution where the main sheet, the exposed brick masonry wall, passes in front of the slab fronts.

Very astutely, the architects decide to support this wall over the window openings, thus avoiding having parts of the wall supported on two different levels, the slab and the lintel.

The solution is simple, clean and coherent.

Related cases:

Often throughout history, new construction systems or techniques have tried to reproduce the image of traditional architecture. In this case, neither the technique nor the final image are dislikeable but their combination could be. The brick image is related with mass, thickness, weight; just the opposite the technique being used provides.

The same happened in the 18th and 19th centuries with the mathematical tile*! This old technique permitted erecting light-weight enclosures looking like brick walls. 

We applaud the appropriate choice of the different materials used in the construction of this residential building - without extreme positions.

On the one hand, the architects combine a dry-construction, lightweight structure with a heavier, wet-construction façade. On the other hand, they do not attempt to “exhibit” sustainability by allowing structural wood to be seen.

Each part has its place and its justification.

I must confess I was really impressed when I saw those huge tile-cladded one-piece-high concrete panels. My doubt was whether they managed to resolve those panels that included windows in the same way? The joints between them seem to express that.

Sauerbruch Hutton, as always, please us with their magnificent architecture, accurate construction, and a sensitive and warm colour palette that fits the surroundings perfectly. 

Look at the interesting brickwork they have developed in this project. Its geometry, enhanced by the different colours, decomposes the brickwork wall into a pixelated surface, an abstract texture where each pixel projects shadow over the wall itself.

The ceramist Cumella produces this elegant ceramic cladding, according to a design that evokes traditional wooden-slat sun-protections in Barcelona.

Even though the cladding evokes slats, it is not a sun filtering element; it is an outer layer of a rain screen façade that, intermittently, encloses the building either passing close to the wall or liberating an external open space. This depends on functional requirements. 

This residential building is an example of our nowadays most common way of building, not only in terms of the materials and systems being used, which we consider appropriate, but also in terms of the lack of precision in the execution. 
We want to draw particular attention to the indefiniteness of the drainage space behind the ceramic outer layer. How different from the drawings is the execution!! Fortunately, the horizontal joints are overlapped.