Complex profiles

Glass, lightness and transparency is the message the façade of this police headquarters was designed to give. It achieves this even though the façade is neither light nor transparent. The horizontal serigraphy combined with the thin eaves projecting shadow over the façade give an image of dynamism. Those eaves are randomly distributed even in the opaque area of the façade.


In IEP, the courtyard and the interior office space are perceived as a continuum. This close relationship between inner and outer spaces is one of the most interesting aspects of the building. The façade solution is the resource needed to achieve this. The glass enclosure is freed from any structure just by making the glass work like plates resting on two supports instead of four.

The façade that closes the south face of the tower seems from the outside to be a simple stick curtain wall that would be of little interest if it were not for the fact that it is photovoltaic. We have dedicated a section to it because of the uniqueness of the space it contains, and the abstraction in the design that this allows. This curtain wall is the enclosure of the elevator core and therefore is devoid of many of the requirements of a façade.

Beyond the geometric complexity of Libeskind’s architecture, we want to draw attention to this curtain wall without transoms that closes the double height entrance hall of the Grand Canal Theatre.

The objective is to enhance the verticality of the plane through relatively close mullions and the absence of transoms. Unfortunately, the black sealing cord takes on unexpected protagonism among a tangle of white profiles, clear glass and most of the finishes in the hall, which are also white.

Mecanotubo is one of the façade industries that invested heavily in the late 1990s in Catalonia to provide a unitary response to the rainscreen façade.

They opted to adapt stick curtain wall technology to this two-layer façade. As in the Carburos Metalicos façade, the resulting inner sheet provides enough water tightness to consider a drainage cavity, and consequently an outer layer, unnecessary. Here the outer layer acts only as a covering.

The building that B01 Architects built for Carburos Metálicos in Barcelona's Carrer d'Aragó, and some of the works of Catalan architects Tous i Fargas, illustrate the need, at that time, of developing industrialized construction systems for the blind area of the facade. The aim was to build a blind façade with a technology similar to that used by the glass and aluminium industry for glazed envelopes.

Saint Paul's Crossing building is a good example of using various façade solutions for a continuous glass skin.