Brick wall

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

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.

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. 

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.

Plaza de la Garduña, in the Raval neighbourhood of Barcelona, is characterized by the uniqueness of the buildings that surround it and give it life: the new Massana School, the Boquería market and the old hospital. Among them, the residential building on the north side of the square responds to this uniqueness with sober neutrality. The building occupies the corner that connects the square with Dr. Fleming’s gardens.

There is no easy project, but it is particularly challenging to refurbish a residential building of this size in which, over the years, each occupant has modified their terrace individually. Here the architects solved the challenge with a few well-placed interventions.

What is hidden behind this ceramic tile cladding in the form of bricks? A thermal insulation material fixed over a real brick wall. Far from trying to cheat us, the cladding reveals the fact that it is not even self-bearing through peculiar “rigging”. The ETICS façade systems allow many other finishing materials in addition to renderings.

The new building for the Dexeus Institute in Barcelona is one of the cases in which the openings completely divide the façade into horizontal strips. Consequently, the façade is not mechanically interrupted by the main structure but by the openings.

The Inbisa Tower case study enables us to highlight the subtle design strategies that make a building with four apparently identical façades so suggestive.

The façade is organized from several overlapping grids. Pillars and slabs cladded in aluminium create the main order: a grid on the scale of the structural system. Over this grid, some mullions define a second order on the scale of the windows. This second order runs literally over the first grid, regardless of whether what is behind is blind or transparent, breaking the rigidity and scale of the main order.

The Hotel Omm facade seems to us an interesting case study in many regards. It was a wise strategy to orient the openings towards the main avenue, Passeig de Gràcia, thus avoiding prying eyes from the building on the opposite side of the street as well as direct solar gain. Also, the bold materialization of this strategy involved transforming the outer layer of a rain screen façade into a series of lightweight walls that emerge from the façade as fish scales.