Contemporary

There are lots of things to say of each of the buildings we publish in this website. However, from the beginning we decided to focus just in one aspect or curiosity for each of them. 

ETICS solutions, which are now so common due to the thermal insulation continuity they allow, were already used twenty-five years ago in designs such as the MACBA building. At that time, achieving continuous rendering without joints was not that simple, as the rendering materials were not as good as the ones we use today.

Lightweight solutions for the rainscreen outer layer were barely known. Probably because the architects did not trust this solution, the inner wall was completely covered with a watertight membrane.

This could not be more adequate.

It is wise in the decision of being discreet, and acute in the selection of all systems and materials. The expertise of the architects as constructors is shown in the accurate design of all the points of relation between the systems and elements.

This is another classic that should not be missed. It is unquestionably impeccable. Let us simply highlight the potential of resorting to a simple curtain wall with a few crucial variations: the exceptional glass with its curvature, texture and roughness; its format and size; and the lack of collinearity between mullions and transoms, enhancing horizontality. All of these factors contribute to accompanying the gesture of both volumes towards the sea. The position of the two blocks, the volumetry and the façade definition all talk the same language.

A very interesting building.

The continuity of the envelope on the façade and roof is only formal, not constructive. The façade solves water tightness by means of a drained cavity, while the roof does so using an absolutely waterproof material. From the outside, they look the same.

In the façade solution of this building we want to draw attention to two factors:

It is surprising how this facade makes a virtue of the sometimes uncomfortable transparency of the glass.
The succession of staggered and slightly overlapped planes that, either reflect the neighboring facades, or exhibit the daily life of the interior space, combined with opaque surfaces placed in different planes and rolling interior sunscreens, manages to create an abstract order that gives coherence to the whole.

Awarded the Pritzker in architecture, the value of this work is undeniable from a formal perspective. However, doubts arise when we consider the functional aspects of thermal and lighting comfort in a Mediterranean climate at 41 degrees latitude.

The façade of San Telmo museum manages to extract all possible design potential from the succession of layers. The surprising thing in this case is that the architects are not limited to the façade layers. In their proposal, they consider as layers the planes that follow one another when a transversal cut is made into the building. So the built volume and its limits, the façade and the mountain all merge.

It is not easy to solve the entire envelope of a building, both façade and roof, with a continuous mantle of slopes varying from 0% to 100%. Tightness in the façade plane, where gravity acts in our favour, has been entrusted to geometry and drainage. However, this solution is not possible on the roof. The changes of slope in a topography of rounded ridges generates practically zero slope planes, which can only be resolved with absolutely waterproof materials.