The facade of the building is an element that, more than the interior, is responsible for its aesthetic appearance. However, what is most fascinating is the innovation of design solutions. Below there are ten examples of twentieth-century innovative facade design, some of them are innovative due to the uncommon visual effects or used materials, but some have been distinguished due to the use of modern technologies or their environmental friendliness.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the following buildings about innovative facade designs, you may already know them or maybe you will be surprised with something new.
1. Bioplastic 3D Printed Facade – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architect: DUS Architects and Heijmans
DUS Architects and Heijmans designed this temporary building for European Union meetings. The innovative facade design is shaped into white yacht sails that contrast with blue-coloured benches created in the recesses under the sails. The seatings were designed parametrically made with the use of 3D-printed bioplastic.
The plastic benches’ forms were filled with concrete to make them more strong. It is the first or one of the first times when elements of this size printed in 3D technology were put to public use. The benches that are part of this innovative facade design turned out to be a great success, they are eagerly used by passers-by, thus creating a small public space.
2. Green Wall Facade – Oasia Hotel, Singapore
Location: 100 Peck Seah Street, Singapore
Architect: WOHA Architects
Year of completion: 2016
Oasia Hotel, a green skyscraper designed by WOHA Architects, is distinguished by its original colours. This octagonal building at the base turns into a circle at the top which makes it form dynamic and not obvious. The elevations of this tower are finished with red coloured perforated aluminium panels that allow vegetation to climb up the facade.
More than 21 different species grow on this building, from the outside they form a garden in the city centre and inside of the building they lower the hotel rooms temperature. The red aluminium panels blended with green plants create an extraordinary connection and contribute to creating privacy for hotel guests.
3. Translucent Solar Panels – BEPOS, France
Location: Lyon, France
Architect: Kengo Kuma Associates
Photovoltaic panels, despite their ecological advantages, are usually perceived as an element that spoils the aesthetics of the building. The BEPOS building designed by Kengo Kuma Associates is completely different in this case—at first glance, it is not visible that the glazing covering the facade is photovoltaic panels.
The southern facade of this residential building is covered with two layers of glass photovoltaic panels by Sadev, that regulate the generated power depending on the seasons. This innovative facade design allowed for the preservation of large glazing in the building and the inflow of natural sunlight.
4. Perforated Metal Facade – Municipal Offices of the Lacq Region, France
Location: Lacq Region, France
Architect: Gilles Bouchez Architecture
Year of completion: 2013
This innovative facade design solution was obtained with the use of pure white perforated metal panels as a way to control the excessive sunlight effect on the south side of the building. The design idea was to create a solar shade that would prevent overheating but also be opened partially to allow enough amount of light.
Perforation with random circles with different diameters creates an unusual illumination effect on the inside of the building. This elevation solution is a connection of aesthetics, functionality and economy.
5. Perforated Brick Facade – Tehran Apartment Block, Iran
Location: Tehran, Iran
Architect: Mohsen Kazemianfard – Fundamental Approach Architects
Year of completion: 2018
The innovation of this facade designed by Fundamental Approach Architects is due to the unusual use of glass and brick double facade skin. The interior layer of the facade is a regular wall with large glazing while the exterior layer consists of perforated screens obtained by a special pattern of bricklaying, distanced from the building and situated at different angles.
By regulating the amount of infiltrated light in the summer the porous brick wall prevents the building from overheating. In the winter the brick takes part in warming the interior.
6. Facades That Clean Air Out – Mexico City Hospital
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Architect: Elegant Embellishments
The Torre de Especialidades is a new hospital building whose innovative facade can clean the air. It is possible thanks to titanium dioxide paint invented by the Elegant Embellishments that covers the facade of this building. With the connection of sunlight and titanium dioxide, the pollution is changed into safe chemicals such as water.
Despite this innovative ecological aspect, the facade is also extraordinary by its visuality and as a typical skin system, it creates a building sun protection.
7. Urban Tree Farm – Quito, Ecuador
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group
This residential building designed by Bjarke Ingels Group is going to be built in Quito where it will become the tallest building. Its innovative facade design consists of concrete boxes rotated to face the best views, which have terraces with plants and trees on their tops. Each of the terraces is going to represent different tree nation species to present the biodiversity of the country. All the structure creates the effect of a vertical plantation farm, which grew in the urban structure.
8. Simplicity of The Form – Szczecin, Poland
Image 24_Simplicity of the form – Szczecin, Poland_©https://www.propertydesign.pl/architektura/104/lodzkie_planetarium_filharmonia_w_szczecinie_te_budynki_warto_zobaczyc,15630-59967.html
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Architect: Estudio Barozzi Veiga
Year of completion: 2014
This building of Filharmonic Hall located in Poland and designed by Spanish architects, has an innovative facade design – white simple surfaces are shaped by the solid of the building. The facade of the building by referring to its surrounding, hipped roofs and existing towers, is characterized by vertical linear divisions and dynamic, soaring shape and lack of decorations.
The facade is made of glass and steel, but at night when illuminated, it seems to be very light, as if it was made of paper. On the other hand, during the day it stands out with its purity and looks like raw chunks of ice.
9. Hexagonal Facade – Hexalance, Indie
Location: Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, India
Architect: Studio Ardete
Year of completion: 2018
Hexalance with its innovative facade designed by Studio Ardete is aimed to act as a buffer and respond to the cooling needs of high temperatures. that consists of three layers. The first one is a glass curtain wall, the other one outward to her is formed by a concrete shading wall with hexagonal openings that connect to carve unique shapes.
There is also a third layer of the facade, hexagonal metal frames which have their composition enriched by the greenery.
10. Printed Facade – Brandenburg Technical University Library, Germany
Location: Cottbut, Germany
Architect: Herzog & De Meuron
Year of completion: 2004
This project designed by Herzog & De Meuron has an extraordinary curved glass façade patterned on an amoeba-shaped plan. Despite the uniqueness of the shape of the building, its innovative facade design owes to the printed white letters from alphabets of the world that refer to the function of a library and represent the diversity of books that are there.
From the distance printed letters create a uniform white pattern that emphasizes the monumentality of the building, viewed at close range letters create abstract shapes and compositions.