Glass

If the tendency is to fill our architecture with all type of gadgets so as to self-produce the energy the users need for their wellbeing, we need to accept that either the building on its global formalisation, or some of the systems being used for its construction, need to integrate those productive gadgets.

Energetic productivity is a design requirement.

Have a look to this façade solution, to the characteristics of the different layers overlapped, and then have a look to the Torre Agbar façade solution.

They look quite similar: a wall, in one case made of small elements while in the other made of concrete poured on site, a ribbed metal sheet, glass slats. In both cases the thermal insulation is in the inside.

Unitized panels: moving from the high-technological glass façade systems to a common façade solution with any openings distribution and finishing material possibilities.

Sober and spectacular coherence in this example where the structural system is the only one articulating the whole.

This case helps us to illustrate these facade solutions based on the summation of "windows". See the study Façade of windows.

Interesting curtain wall passing bay the front of the slab each two floors. The sun protection adds some complexity. A good example so as to analyse different fixing mechanisms.

We do not fail to insist on the inadequacy of resorting to nearly completely glassed façades in our climate. That said, and letting ourselves get carried away by formal issues, we can only applaud the wise decision to force imperfection.

From a constructive point of view this façade solution is quite similar to the one the same architects resort in the office building in 22@. We just want to highlight the effectiveness that these baguettes may have if we compare them to those used in the before mentioned building.

Again, we can see a nearly completely glazed façade that faces northwest.

The purpose of this decision can be clearly understood when you get inside one of the classrooms behind the façade. Despite the shallowness of the plot, inside the classroom you feel that the space is wider. Aragon Street is the background added to the room. 66.1 AC/16/88.1 AC glass is designed to prevent excessive noise. Thermal loses are again the weak point. 

This is a unitized façade system, which means a completely prefabricated curtain wall solution. A panel is used with all the onsite mounting benefits that panels can have. What is more it is light, so big components can be used that are perhaps two stories high. During preassembly, all the façade layers can be incorporated into the same frame, and thus into a single panel. The glass does not need to be related to transparency; it can simply cover the blind area of the façade to provide a continuous image from the outside, as we normally do with the slab edge front.

Seeking for the nearly complete glass continuity in the façade has led to a solution for the fire spreading interruption between floors that is solved some centimetres offset from the glass pane. 

That way, the number of joints in the façade is reduced, and so the need for profiles. The cutting does not show so evidently what is happening in the back of the façade. This gap between the glass and the sectoring panel can be used for placing a rolling blind or indirect lighting. An appropriate illumination may permit blurring the bottom limit of this sectoring element.