Precast concrete or GRC

Although prefabricated concrete panels incorporating stone claddings are not something new -as an example to highlight the Hotel in Plaza España, designed by the architect Enric Garces, and built in 1990-; we want to draw attention on the appropriateness of the solution today.

As we mentioned in the wake of the SBG Schönburg building in Bern, the open-joint claddings are in crisis -not because of their performance, which nobody questions, but merely due to formal reasons.

The façade of the Renaissance hotel in L’Hospitalet has a peculiar thermal behaviour. It is based on retarding thermal loss with the concrete wall (thermal inertia), while minimizing the thermal difference between the two sides of this wall with a closed air cavity on its outer side. This closed air cavity has its thermal insulation improved by a reflective membrane coating one of its sides. Thermal gain in summer is controlled by the reflective capacity of the white serigraphy in the glass and, again, the reflective membrane.

Renzo Piano provides several examples of interesting ceramic façades, despite the problems that some of them may have suffered over time.

The façade of Broadwalk House stands out for having exploited the potential of prefabricated concrete panels to the maximum.