Brick wall

It is a great pleasure to share this amazing example of good architecture with all Facad3s followers. There is no formal boasting, no latest generation materials, no added gadgets for energy production, no raw land or straw. The building manages to be attractive by being clever, and sustainable by being reasonable.

Sauerbruch & Hutton, as always, please us with their magnificent architecture, accurate construction, and a sensitive and warm colour palette that perfectly fits the surroundings. 
Look at the interesting brick they develop for this project. Its geometry, enhanced by the different colours, decomposes the brickwork wall into a pixel surface, an abstract texture where each pixel projects shadow over the wall itself.
 

Resorting to precast concrete panels for the façade enclosure is nothing new. In fact, the use of said material in large-format boards of minimum-thickness is not new either, the ΩZ pre-stressed board system has been allowing it for some time. 

The thinness of the plate makes it difficult to perform an adequate sealing of the joint and therefore the tendency is to leave them open, and define a drained cavity on the back to grant water tightness. A rain screen.

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.

Interesting sub-frame solving the window opening in all the façade depth. It includes the banister and a gap specially designed to hide the sun protection ¡inside the cavity of the rain screen façade!

Very narrow, large cladding pieces are attached longitudinally. The high number of horizontal profiles that are needed is increased by the fact that two adjacent plates do not always share fixing profiles, as in the lattice area. Therefore, the need for profiles is practically doubled in these parts of the façade.

A very suitable but expensive solution.
 

This residential building is an example of our nowadays most common way of building, not only in terms of the materials and systems being used, which we consider appropriate, but also in terms of the lack of precision in the execution. 
We want to draw particular attention to the indefiniteness of the drainage space behind the ceramic outer layer. How different from the drawings is the execution!! Fortunately, the horizontal joints are overlapped.

Unlike stone, pressed ceramic tiles or any kind of artificial panels of board type, extruded terracotta elements can easily be three-dimensional, due to the manufacturing process. Unfortunately architects do not always take advantage of this possibility, even though terracotta is a common material in façade claddings.  Here is a good example of its 3D possibilities!

And observe these difficult corners where three-dimensional elements can show their hollowness! A good challenge!

Sober architecture but a confusing solution.

Which is the main façade layer in this concrete façade? The 8 cm think concrete panel or the brick wall? 

A group of residential buildings in Torrelago district, Laguna de Duero (Valladolid), has been refurbished in the context of the European Programme CITyFIED: Replicable and Innovative Future Efficient Districts and Cities. The renovation addresses both the image of the buildings and energy factors.