The usual front face of the building is often termed as a façade. The façade delivers the personality and character of the building. It plays an integral portion in the building as it portrays the impression of the building and it urges the users to enter the building. With a diversity of façades ranging in shapes, sizes, and materials, these help in creating an impact on the user and offering to the cityscape. The importance of the façade can be felt where the listed and conservation buildings have restricted their change as it benefits the local communities and environment. The well-worked façade also helps in energy efficiency and enhances the experience of the user. Today, with the range of materials available, the façade design provides a large spectrum of opportunities with user experience, environmental impact, and nation-building.

1. Flexi-Scraper, Mumbai

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Conceptual Process ©www.architecture live.in

Borrowing inspiration from the roots of the Japanese origami magic ball, this generated ‘skin’ has malleable property. This same skin has the same amount of squares which generates a variety of forms: a cylinder, spindle, revolved hyperboloid, sphere, and a disc. Another benefit of this skin includes the free-flowing spaces into the core of the building as a part of its structural stability constitutes in the façade itself. As located in the windy coastal areas in Mumbai, it channelizes the constant sea breeze into ducts within the outer skin with a series of micro windmills that generate power to provide for façade lighting requirements to illuminate the iconic form by night.

2. 30 William, Manhattan

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Seamless Concrete Façade ©www.archpaper.com

Being the first high-rise tower in Manhattan, the facade of the building proves to be an elegant insertion in the dense Manhattan cityscape, creating a distinctive silhouette. This building holds various functions such as 242 residences, 2 retail floors, a health club, gym, movie theatre, rooftop observatory deck, and a privately owned public park. To make it a distinctive insert, the façade of this building is ornamented with a hand-cast concrete façade evocative of the masonry craftsmanship of the historic highrises in the neighborhood. To make it subtle visually, it has a rough texture of custom tinted concrete with the offset of smooth bronze detailing throughout.

3. Double Skin System in tropical Urban Environments.

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Double Skin Façade Visualisation ©www.archdaily.com

Vietnam possessing a tropical climate gives birth to the ‘tropical double-skin’ façade to tackle the moderate heat gain and developing a better acoustic resistance from the noisy streets. In the intricacy of the façade, it is bifurcated into small modules, each of nearly 400 cubic millimeters with 6 steel rings. Another add-on benefit of this façade is the planters planted develop a kinetic shadow on the interior of the building. The inside skin is of the glass to have visual porosity of the outer green skin. Hence, this façade system is much easier to maintain while still providing the necessary protections required in the tropical environment.

4. Fixed Use Design with Moscow’s Architecture

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Façade Design Visualisation in Winter ©www.archdaily.com

With a unique and expressive silhouette to the city, it drives inspiration from the historic neighbors along with the building designed by Le Corbusier. It takes advantage of the corner plot by stepping toward and away from the street below, ensuring high exposure and accessibility to the rest of the city. The façade development progresses with translating the form of a 2-dimensional plane, with various window sizes responding to their position within the façade. The building happens to be a bold ceramic façade that borrows from the Constructivist building adjacent and emanates a warm and welcoming presence.

5. Contemporary Facades in Munich

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Façade: Conceptual ©www.archdaily.com

With the industrial layout in its immediate context, the façade maintains its architectural identity by its distinctive elements. Representing the structure, the facades are concrete frames with large openings; adaptable to future office space typologies. All the major functions are enclosed by a seamless glazing and black metal-clad skin. The roof delivers as its façade, bringing light into the building via triangular glass atriums which saves material and prevents overheating. Also, the exterior spaces add on to contemporary architectural aesthetics.

6. Red to green: Oxidised Facades

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Oxidized Façade (Industrial Insert) ©www.archdaily.com

The common notion of white clean walls and green gardens is time-taking as it requires time, energy, and resources to maintain. Though periodic maintenance is necessary, the owners often neglect it as it does not affect the structural system and the interior functions. Though the visual and aesthetic traits are hindered, it often gets neglected. Hence, the use of steel, copper, or zinc sheets where the oxidation is expected is used. As these materials develop different shades at different intervals of time, it does not hinder the visual and aesthetic trails which instead enhances it. These types of facades are generally used in the coastal areas where humidity is dominant and function happens to be related to industrial purposes where its color variation leads to unpredictability of future aesthetics.

7. Kinetic Façades

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Kinetic Façade Visualisation ©www.archdaily.com

Nothing is permanent. Understanding this notion of time and impermanence, this leads to the design and idea of kinetic facades where the skin of the building change with time. These architectural facades change positively, transferring buildings from undeviating structures to ephemeral surfaces. These facades dice between aesthetics and utility with progressing time. The outer skin of the façade changes its aesthetic values with the response to the function it has with the sun movement. This helps the change in utility by protecting from heat glare; decreased air conditioning and adding sustainable values.

8. Aluminum Facades

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Aluminum Foam Finish ©www.archdaily.com

Façades deliver more than their function and efficiency. But, its richness and characters go missing as it gets multiplied repeatedly throughout. To have its seamless and shiny texture, the aluminum foam panels are used through an injection process in molten aluminum by air injecting fine ceramic particulate. This brings a large variety of texture, brightness, transparency, and opacity though multiplies multiple times which generates unique façades. 

9. Polycarbonate Translucent Facades

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Translucent Façade on Upper Face ©www.archdaily.com

Fulfilling both the requirements of privacy and natural lighting in architectural enclosures, these microcell panels offer a wide range of design freedom such as lightness, clean lines, and light effects. The use of this reduces artificial lighting and helps in providing diffused uniformity throughout the space. This material is used majorly in facades for small scale projects and roofing alternatives in industrial scales.

10. Breathable Facades using Metal Meshes

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Metal Mash Façade ©www.archdaily.com

To understand the openness and thermal comfort is both recommended by the users. Also, the exterior expression of the building solely represents its character. Implementing metal meshes is the material for tomorrow. Metal meshes filter the solar rays which generate shades and reduce the temperature of the interiors. At the same time, in winters, its permeability allows the passage of the sun lowering the costs of heating. The wire mesh allows the wind to penetrate in the interiors which prevents the interiors.

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Jaival Mehta, being a third-year architecture student, is always keen to read and explode the theme of subject matter. If he had the time and stamina to do so, he would cycle around the world, with a pen, camera and a notebook. He is a literature and design enthusiast and his favourite word is ‘why’.

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