Simple profiles

What an amazing solution! Covering the façade with an EPDM membrane like a padded jacket or a “boatiné coat”. It’s so obvious, but not common! I only remember one similar solution on the back façade of the Frei Photographic Studio in Weil am Rhein, by Herzog & de Meuron. They also used a waterproof membrane, on that occasion made of asphalt, for the cladding.

In the same way that we wonder which came first the chicken or the egg, we could ask ourselves who takes the first steps in innovation, the architect proposing new solutions or the industry developing them. In most of the cases the developments of the industry respond or are suggested by new approaches propound by the architect.

Tradition with open joint (C.007)

How to introduce in a new building of housing the traditional aesthetics of facade of the old town of Barcelona?The proposal tries to introduce the shapes and textures of the traditional architecture of the context with the technologies of a prefabricated facade in order to combine the lightness of a rainscreen solution with the texture and materials of the place.The result is a plaster facade with open joints that remark the horizontals, aiming to give the shapes and shadows of the old balconies of Ciutat Vella.

The Mountain House: Housing in Poblenou 2 (C.009)

Rainscreen facade with aluminium profiles structure and cladded with cement wood board with a second skin of U-GlassThis housing building is located in Barcelona, a city know for its warm and humid clima. This is the second facade of the building, the one that gives access to the housing throgh a gangway that runs the building. It is also a place for the neighbors to hang out and take their furniture outside, becoming another room of the house.

This is a very interesting façade concept.

The façade brings together all the adjectives that architects use to describe enclosures that are “trending”: integrated, active, flexible and perfectible.

It is a rainscreen façade in which the cladding plates, together with the substructure, can incorporate a range of functions including active energy production. The cladding plates, which are all the same size, are interchangeable, making the enclosure flexible. The support and anchoring system allow new cladding plates to be added with improved functions.

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. 

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.

Some cladding panels offer many possibilities. In these single-family houses in Palma, the panels used for the outer layer of a rainscreen façade are perforated in the terrace space to define an umbraculum. There is no change of material and the composition of prisms remains nearly unaltered; it is simply a matter of lattices.

Again, this Catalan studio proposes a clear and simple façade. The dry constructed façade is based on three layers: the main one resolving air and water tightness, an inner cladding and an outer one. It might be thought that the façade works properly just with the main sandwich layer (like the Courts extension in Zaragoza).

This hotel in Barcelona illustrates the typological confusion of contemporary façade systems and justifies the need for a taxonomic tool such as the one organised by this platform.