Exploring Façades

The design of a façades is vital in design. Since this is the first thing people see and can make or break the success of an architectural building. The use of texture or material choice can encourage interaction with the end user, giving a memorable and exciting experience with the architecture. We’ve picked three examples of recently opened buildings and examined the treatment of the facade;

Chanel, Amsterdam

A typical retail store would fully glaze the front façade at ground level to allow customers to look in and see product, this store in Amsterdam has reverse this concept. Glass bricks, window frames and architraves have been used to recreate the city’s traditional architectural style but with a twist. These are all held in place with transparent high-strength glue which has been tested to be stronger, in many ways, than concrete. This design has allowed the traditional architecture to remain whilst allowing the store to thrive.

Serpentine Galleries Pavilion, Kensington Garden, London

This temporary pavilion creates shelter from Britain’s unpredictable weather whilst keeping the space open to nature. By using steel sections fixed together at different points it creates an interesting and 3D effect, enticing people in. This façade creates privacy, only allowing passers-by a view in when looking head onto the structure.

Switch House, Tate Modern, London

The extension to Tate Modern in London has just completed. This incorporates a concrete frame clad with brick latticework and using glazed slits to split up the façade. The brick latticework cladding matches the existing building yet the bricks have been staggered giving extra texture to the building. The façade gives a different look and feel from both internal and external; by laying the bricks in a latticework formation, the voids have been covered with glass internally making the internal spaces bright and airy.