Brick wall

In this case study, we want to emphasize the construction solution applied on the façades and the roof: an ETICS system coated with ceramic tiles. 

This mixed-use complex apparently resorts to the use of ceramics to integrate the building into a historic industrial district that still conserves nineteenth-century architecture: 22@ in Barcelona. However, the use of a specific material is not enough to consider that a building is integrated into a context.

Material is not simply matter: it is a format, a construction technique and a system. What emerges from all this is a character of place that transcends the material.

Here we aim to exemplify the careful use of materials with which HArquitectes resolve their architecture, and therefore their façades. On this occasion, only two materials are used: thermal insulation and perforated brick (gero). In the inner wall, the structural support, the brick is arranged in such a way as to withstand the loads transmitted by the slab. In the outer wall, the same brick is rotated to show its perforated surface, which ventilates the cavity between the two walls.

Façades formed by double walls may suffer from condensation of water on the cold side of the insulation. This problem is difficult to solve when the aim is to preserve the water vapour diffusivity of the entire enclosure. The outer wall will hardly dissipate water vapour before it condenses. HArquitectes solved the problem in this house in Sant Cugat by means of regular microventilations, which escape from the traditional image of a cavity wall. Rainwater tightness is entrusted to the characteristics of the outer ceramic layer. 


The façade of the Sant Jordi student residence building is characterized by the continuity of the zinc sheet. This sheet covers the opaque wall and the windows; in this second case as an outer shutter.

The façade escapes from verticality with a discreet, but sufficient, gesture.