Glass

The façade of the Renaissance hotel in L’Hospitalet has a peculiar thermal behaviour. It is based on retarding thermal loss with the concrete wall (thermal inertia), while minimizing the thermal difference between the two sides of this wall with a closed air cavity on its outer side. This closed air cavity has its thermal insulation improved by a reflective membrane coating one of its sides.

Glass, lightness and transparency is the message the façade of this police headquarters was designed to give. It achieves this even though the façade is neither light nor transparent. The horizontal serigraphy combined with the thin eaves projecting shadow over the façade give an image of dynamism. Those eaves are randomly distributed even in the opaque area of the façade.

 

In IEP, the courtyard and the interior office space are perceived as a continuum. This close relationship between inner and outer spaces is one of the most interesting aspects of the building. The façade solution is the resource needed to achieve this. The glass enclosure is freed from any structure just by making the glass work like plates resting on two supports instead of four.

The façade that closes the south face of the tower seems from the outside to be a simple stick curtain wall that would be of little interest if it were not for the fact that it is photovoltaic. We have dedicated a section to it because of the uniqueness of the space it contains, and the abstraction in the design that this allows. This curtain wall is the enclosure of the elevator core and therefore is devoid of many of the requirements of a façade.

This emblematic building in the London financial district maintains its formal unity beyond the differences in the design of the façades depending on their orientation. The case "Devoid of the human scale (034)" describes the southwest façade of the same building. The southeast and northwest façades attract our attention due to the sobriety conferred by the enormous glazed surface, which is only interrupted every three floors by horizontal bands of stainless steel.

On this occasion, Batlle and Roig resort to a curtain wall in which partial structures are assembled at each slab front without physical continuity between them. Glass panes are then supported over the partial structures to close the façade (have a look at the "Cadireta" curtain wall structure). Each two glass panes are framed with an aluminium frame made of unitized panels profiles. So, is this a unitized façade or a curtain wall one? Maybe it is a mixture of the two?

Beyond the geometric complexity of Libeskind’s architecture, we want to draw 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 through relatively close mullions and the absence of transoms. Unfortunately, the black sealing cord takes on unexpected protagonism among a tangle of white profiles, clear glass and most of the finishes in the hall, which are also white.

The curtain wall that closes the large openings of this public library is solved by seeking the neutrality we spoke about in "Steel mesh reinforced ETICS (019)" in reference to the ETICS solution.

It is difficult to understand the need for building this thick, load bearing, cast in-situ concrete wall hidden behind a light cladding composed of different layers: mineral wool, coloured ribbed plates and glass slats. On the inside, the concrete wall is again hidden, on this occasion by furniture. The climbing formwork system that made this wall possible had to be successively cut to adapt to the changes in the diameter and curvature of the tower. The preparation of the reinforcement must have been equally difficult.

Saint Paul's Crossing building is a good example of using various façade solutions for a continuous glass skin.