Modern façades make more use of multi-layered constructions to fulfil complex functional and design requirements. After dematerialised glass envelopes, the focus is more on plasticity, material character and colour concepts now. Innovative architectural solutions interpreting the topic façade in different ways are presented: bands of double-shell windows are set off by colour-changing interspaces in the Children's Hospital Basel, while backlit fluorescent cladding makes the Congress Centre in Cartagena shimmer luminously, and a red curtain of metal plates is wrapped around the Nebuta Museum in Northern Japan. The technology section contains information about the latest developments in making multi-layered glass façades with integrated natural ventilation even more energy efficient. A second article is concerned with adhesion of back-ventilated façade panels.