Contemporary

This is a very stimulating sun protection mechanism.

From the front view, the design seems to be a simple formalism. However, its interest lies in the fact that it grows inwards, like vertical slats. Including these slats in a partially perforated plane with an abstract composition allows the architects to escape from a conventional image.

In this northwest orientation, the system perfectly obstructs solar radiation during the last hours of summer days, without limiting the street view or the entry of light.

The student’s residence on the Campus Diagonal uses two façade systems: the first, ETICS, solves water tightness through the impermeability of the rendering; the second, a rainscreen, uses an open-joint outer sheet and drainage of the cavity.

It is not possible to talk about facades without mentioning a very unique façade for the moment when it was built, and that even today continues being a reference.

The first point that draws our attention is the constructive system of own design, lightweight, based on a system of mullions (similar to a curtain wall). Despite the verticality imposed by the system, clearly visible from the outside elevation, the interior gives a fairly conventional image of blind parapet and horizontal windows. 

This building, and its façade, could easily go unnoticed. It is appropriate, but not boastful.

However, we wanted to draw attention to a very specific, educational aspect. Even though the two façade systems that are used are formed by two sheets with a cavity in the middle, their behaviour is very different. 
The outer layer made of flat plates with open vertical joints allows air and water to enter and exit the cavity through the joints. This is a ventilated and drained façade. 

Energy-efficient architecture does not have to have a certain image. This is clear in the work of Sauerbruch & Hutton, which has a sober but colourful image.

A double skin glass façade has indisputable formal possibilities, such as blurring the structural and/or functional order, providing uniformity and vanishing the volume limits so they merge with the sky. However, it contributes little to improving thermal aspects in our climate. 

This is an interesting resource to hide the blind area associated with the edge of the slab, the facilities’ cavity and the elevated floor without having to delimit this area with two transoms visible in the elevation. The only apparent cutting is that of the unitized panel, with greater or lesser density in the pattern of the serigraphy that opalizes or simply veils the transparency of the glass.

It is not easy to classify such a singular façade. It is also difficult to analyse it with the pragmatic parameters we normally use on this platform. The façade is that of a Concert Hall, a piece of ice on the Reykjavik coastline that needs to be understood in its singular context and for its specific use.

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.

This is an excellent proposal for solving façade composition with a rectangular format checkerboard pattern (the blind and hollowed areas only touch at the apex), avoiding the presence of the slab.

Those who have faced this situation will know how difficult it is to unite at a vertex two openings on different floors, separated by a slab, without showing the thickness of this structural element.