Facades must solve many tasks at once. Not only do they give buildings a face and character, they must assert themselves in the cityscape and fit into the surroundings. They keep out rain, wind and cold, while protecting against heat and direct sun. The outer shell is also decisive for interiors. It contributes to a pleasant indoor climate, directs our gaze outwards through its openings, controls the entry of natural light, and contributes to our well-ventilated wellbeing with a balcony, terrace or loggia.
For our May issue, Julia Liese compiled extraordinary examples of facades on new buildings in places such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Madrid and Seoul, showing a variety of ways architects are designing buildings that fit into the urban context and respond to climatic or functional conditions – as residential towers, town halls, sports halls or office buildings.
In Nordhavn, Copenhagen, the shimmering metal facade of The Silo residential building breaks into glittering fragments that reflect on the water’s surface. Our documentation of this project shows the clever way in which Danish architectural firm Cobe covered an existing concrete silo with a new curtain wall facade in the course of its conversion, with detailed photos, plans and construction details. This is complemented by our essay, which presents current examples of metal facades with very different functions. Author Roland Pawlitschko looks at unusual and even radical solutions that respond in a variety of ways to specific requirements while ensuring translucency and transparency.
Technology is another aspect of the facade, and a lot has happened in this realm in recent years. In our technology feature, Rob Nijsse, Vincent Kersten and Ronald Wenting take a closer look at facades used in OMA projects. They examine the structural importance of corrugated glass as a facade material, and explain the technical details involved in the development of these outer shells.
In our special green section Jakob Schoof presents a selection of projects with successful plus energy concepts.