Heavy: > 125 kg/m2

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.

It's difficult not to be moved by the interior atmosphere created by the prefabricated blocks used in the construction of rice silos. Those spaces were not originally designed to be occupied, but we can now enjoy them thanks to their rehabilitation.

This simple block piece, with its sloping planes and small ventilation openings that also permit light ingress, offers a wealth of lights and shadows, enhanced by the curved shape of the silo itself. The light is soft and uniform.

Recycling is a must. When recycling old brick walls, we tend to think that the recyclable element is the brick; we need to separate it from the rest of the elements and clean the mortar. It is cleverer to understand that a wall is much more than a brick, and thus, we can recycle it as panels! We reuse the small element, that is, the brick, and we benefit from the work of the craftsman of the time when the original building was erected. 

A light highly-prefabricated panel over a heavy handmade wall, a contradiction that works.
A heavy concrete panel will imply having mass on the outside of the thermal insulation, as those solutions are commonly insulated from the inside. If the objective is having this thermal inertia in the inner side of the insulation, the solution is good: a heavy interior wall insulated over its outer face and a low-weight panel so as not to overload the façade where it is not necessary.

Elegant and well-resolved contemporary conventional façade solution where the main sheet, the exposed brick masonry wall, passes in front of the slab fronts.

Very astutely, the architects decide to support this wall over the window openings, thus avoiding having parts of the wall supported on two different levels, the slab and the lintel.

The solution is simple, clean and coherent.

Related cases:

We applaud the appropriate choice of the different materials used in the construction of this residential building - without extreme positions.

On the one hand, the architects combine a dry-construction, lightweight structure with a heavier, wet-construction façade. On the other hand, they do not attempt to “exhibit” sustainability by allowing structural wood to be seen.

Each part has its place and its justification.

I must confess I was really impressed when I saw those huge tile-cladded one-piece-high concrete panels. My doubt was whether they managed to resolve those panels that included windows in the same way? The joints between them seem to express that.

A really interesting refurbishment proposal for a 1959 office building by a well-known Catalan architect, Francesc Mitjans.

The challenge was renovating the façade, improving its water-tightness and thermal performance, while remaining respectful to a significant building from recent Catalan architectural history.

Sauerbruch Hutton, as always, please us with their magnificent architecture, accurate construction, and a sensitive and warm colour palette that fits the surroundings perfectly. 

Look at the interesting brickwork they have developed in this project. Its geometry, enhanced by the different colours, decomposes the brickwork wall into a pixelated surface, an abstract texture where each pixel projects shadow over the wall itself.

Resorting to precast concrete panels for the façade enclosure is nothing new. In fact, the use of said material in large-format boards of minimum-thickness is not new either, the ΩZ pre-stressed board system has been allowing it for some time. 

The thinness of the plate makes it difficult to perform an adequate sealing of the joint and therefore the tendency is to leave them open, and define a drained cavity on the back to grant water tightness. A rain screen.