Light: 75 kg/m2 < p ≤ 125 kg/m2

If the inner layer of the rainscreen façade at the Hotel AC was innovative, the proposal for the neighbouring office tower for the Zona Franca Consortium was even more so. Again, the exterior image is a sober stone skin anchored over aluminium profiles. However, on this occasion the inner layer made of boards over steel framing was prefabricated and arrived at the site as panels.

The AC Hotel was one of the first buildings in Barcelona in which a ventilated façade system was used with a light inner layer made of cement boards over metal folded sheet profiles. 

Since then, these systems have evolved to provide a clearer solution regarding  the continuity of the thermal insulation and air tightness. This is achieved by improving the solution in the slab edge and with the adequate treatment of joints. 

Profiled metal trays, which are so common in industrial buildings, find a new use in this residential complex in Guadalajara, Spain. 

Although we greatly appreciate the cleverness and simplicity of the solution, there are problems we cannot deny: thermal bridges through the metal ribs, the lack of water vapour permeability and the compositional limitations derived from the tray width. 

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

St Giles is one of the latest projects by Renzo Piano’s studio that has a dry fixed ceramic façade. In this case, the architects resorted to unitized panels for its construction.

The building that B01 Architects built for Carburos Metálicos in Barcelona's Carrer d'Aragó, and some of the works of Catalan architects Tous i Fargas, illustrate the need, at that time, of developing industrialized construction systems for the blind area of the facade. The aim was to build a blind façade with a technology similar to that used by the glass and aluminium industry for glazed envelopes.

Saint Paul's Crossing building is a good example of using various façade solutions for a continuous glass skin.

In a city full of iconic buildings, Grimshaw studio sought to make an impression using colour.

Beyond chromatic issues, what we are interested in emphasizing here is the complexity of the unitized panel formed by a double sheet and anchored in its upper third, at a certain distance from the top.

The architects’ challenge in the NIDO building was to combine residential use with the image of a high tower in the centre of London, whilst ensuring the right level of comfort.