18 August 2010

Starting out

Bridge Pavillion, Expo Zaragoza 2008. Zaha Hadid & Arup

The facade of a building is primarily a social, urban experience - even when it's part of a bridge! It is also an architectural concept, perhaps the most 'architectural' of the design tasks that are still exclusive to architects. The facade is the playing ground of the Vitruvian venustas, or beauty. A facade must be designed and built knowing its materials, support system, movements: it is also a tectonic element (the old firmitas). And finally, facades have a role as filters: air flow, heat and cold, sun radiation, daylight, noise etc go through it. This is linked with comfort and utilitas.

Nowadays, designing facades is a melting pot of related - or not so related - disciplines. No longer the exclusive domain of architects, facades are receiving more attention from engineers and urban planners. Facades are definitely an area for developing the future sustainable city.

This blog deals with facade design in the broadest sense. It is intended for architects, engineers, materials and systems suppliers, facade contractors, end users, students and academics alike. Perspective is critical: I am or have been part of any of these groups during twenty years of professional experience with facades. This should help with promoting opposed views and not avoiding clashes.

Let's see how far we can get ...

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