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. 

Unlike what stone, pressed ceramic tiles, or any kind of artificial panels -board type-, can give, extruded terracotta elements can, due to the manufacturing process, easily be three-dimensional!!! A possibility which architects not always take advantage of, even though terracotta is a common material in façade claddings. 

And pay attention to these difficult corners where three-dimensional elements may exhibit their hollowness!!

Sober architecture but a confusing solution.

In this concrete façade: which is the main façade layer? The concrete panel 8 cm thick, 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. 

ETICS solutions, which are now so common due to the thermal insulation continuity they allow, were already used twenty-five years ago in designs such as the MACBA building. At that time, achieving continuous rendering without joints was not that simple, as the rendering materials were not as good as the ones we use today.

Lightweight solutions for the rainscreen outer layer were barely known. Probably because the architects did not trust this solution, the inner wall was completely covered with a watertight membrane.

This could not be more adequate.

It is wise in the decision of being discreet, and acute in the selection of all systems and materials. The expertise of the architects as constructors is shown in the accurate design of all the points of relation between the systems and elements.

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.