Complex profiles

Exciting challenge of Mecanotubo.

Over time, and with more perspective, one thing that will characterized the building construction of the second half of the twentieth century, reaching only until the beginning of the XXI in the Spanish context due to the restrictions on the inventiveness imposed by the regulations in this country, is the great proliferation of systems for the blind area of façade. All of them supported as systems by the industry, tending to be prefabricated and dry assembled and fixed.

Another classic that cannot be missed. Unquestionably impeccable. Let us simply highlight the potential that you can get resorting to a simple curtain wall but with few decisive variations: the exceptional glass -curvature, texture, roughness-; its format and size; and the lack of collinearity between mullions and transoms, enhancing horizontality. All of them contribute to accompany the gesture of both volumes towards the sea. The position of the two blocks, the volumetry and the facade definition, they all talk about the same.

Awarded the Pritzker in architecture, the value of their work from the formal point of view is undeniable. Doubt arises when considering functional aspects, thermal and lighting comfort, in a Mediterranean climate at 41 degrees latitude.

Very interesting process of replacing a stick curtain wall by another keeping the building in use and without the need of building a provisional enclosure a few meters from the façade. Users do not lose the relation with the outside through the façade during the time the works are taking place.

Images speak for themselves.

In filt3rs we talk about “A unique wrapping”, P. Garrido and J. Prous in “Deep Skin” refer to “Burqas and veilings”. In any case, this project from IDOM is also subjected to this tendency to cover the building with a continuous skin, more or less abstract, placed over a more functional enclosure.

In this occasion the interior is glass and the outer skin a perforated metal sheet that reproduces the image of a green landscape.

Very suggestive sun protection mechanism.

A design that in a frontal vision would seem to be a simple formalism, takes on interest as it grows inward like vertical slats. Including those slats into a partially perforated plane with an abstract composition permits escaping from the conventional slats image.

In this orientation, northwest, the system perfectly obstructs the solar radiation of the last hours in summer days without limiting the visuals to the street or the light entrance.

Beyond the indisputable formal possibilities of a double skin glass facade: blurring the structural and / or functional order, giving uniformity,  vanishing the volume limits melting them with the sky, and so on; a double skin glass facade contributes little to improve thermal aspects in our climate. 

The facade of GAES headquarters in Barcelona is a risky proposal. In filt3rs.net we addressed the behavior of the green filtering elements; here is the time to comment the facade solution as a whole.

The glass facade has always been characterized, among other things, for being supported by an industry capable of ensuring its continuous development and evolution to be adapted to new functional and formal requirements. A fact that is unquestionably a value, has the counterpart of a relatively fast obsolescence of the facades that results in the need to replace them quite frequently.

In the Beethoven Building in Barcelona, the replacement of the facade clearly renews the image of the building while maintaining the idea of continuous glass enclosure and the original cutting. Different materials and characteristics of both the glass and the profiles, but above all, it is the strong rhythm conferred by the mullions covers and the couples of exempt profiles when projecting outwards that permit this renewed image.