Batlle and Roig designed a double skin façade for this office building in 22@. The inner layer meets the thermal requirements and those of air and water tightness, while the outer layer delimits the building volumetrically and seeks to improve its thermal behaviour.

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

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.

What is hidden behind this ceramic tile cladding in the form of bricks? A thermal insulation material fixed over a real brick wall. Far from trying to cheat us, the cladding reveals the fact that it is not even self-bearing through peculiar “rigging”. The ETICS façade systems allow many other finishing materials in addition to renderings.

In this case study, we want to emphasize the construction solution applied on the façades and the roof: an ETICS system coated with ceramic tiles. 

The RBA headquarters are not included here to talk about the project as a whole; an analysis that would allow us to highlight very positive aspects. Instead, our focus is the façade and its lack of sincerity.

The two longitudinal façades 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 from sight.

Mecanotubo is one of the façade industries that invested heavily in the late 1990s in Catalonia to provide a unitary response to the rainscreen façade.

They opted to adapt stick curtain wall technology to this two-layer façade. As in the Carburos Metalicos façade, the resulting inner sheet provides enough water tightness to consider a drainage cavity, and consequently an outer layer, unnecessary. Here the outer layer acts only as a covering.

Profiled metal trays, which are so common in industrial buildings, find a new use in this residential complex in Guadalajara, Spain. 

Although we greatly appreciate the cleverness and simplicity of the solution, there are problems we cannot deny: thermal bridges through the metal ribs, the lack of water vapour permeability and the compositional limitations derived from the tray width. 

This mixed-use complex apparently resorts to the use of ceramics to integrate the building into a historic industrial district that still conserves nineteenth-century architecture: 22@ in Barcelona. However, the use of a specific material is not enough to consider that a building is integrated into a context.

Material is not simply matter: it is a format, a construction technique and a system. What emerges from all this is a character of place that transcends the material.

Here we aim to exemplify the careful use of materials with which HArquitectes resolve their architecture, and therefore their façades. On this occasion, only two materials are used: thermal insulation and perforated brick (gero). In the inner wall, the structural support, the brick is arranged in such a way as to withstand the loads transmitted by the slab. In the outer wall, the same brick is rotated to show its perforated surface, which ventilates the cavity between the two walls.