Because a building’s facade provides the public’s first impression, it is arguably the most important aesthetic characteristic of an architectural design. In recent years, innovative facade designs and systems have created some of the world’s most interesting buildings. These designs offer not only exquisite form, but also functionalities that push the limits of enclosures.
The Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum. PHOTO COURTESY OF MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM
Through advances in building science, many facades are more than a static building envelope — performing functions, especially as they relate to the environment, such as screening rain, redirecting sunlight, providing solar control, and managing heat transfer, as well as enhancing aesthetics. At the same time, buildings have become truly sculptural components in our constructed environment.
Originally published in D+D • April 2017
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