Posts tagged with "Facades Plus":

BIG’s Shenzhen International Energy Mansion looks better than the renderings

Long after the golden era of corporate modernist skyscrapers (think Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building, SOM’s Lever House, and so on), many contemporary office skyscrapers are still designed with traditional glass curtain walls that have low insulation and cause overheating from unnecessary direct sunlight. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) conjured an otherworldly alternative for Shenzhen International Energy Mansion: a sawtooth, zigzagging curtain wall comprising glass panels and powder-coated aluminum that blocks direct sunlight, thereby reducing solar gain by up to 30 percent. The 1-million-square-foot structure is composed of two towers and a nine-story connecting block complete with a shared cafeteria, conference rooms, and various retail shops: The uppermost 13 floors of the 42-story north tower houses the Shenzhen Energy Mansion headquarters. As a starting point, BIG considered the subtropical climate in Shenzhen, gauging how they could create comfortable working spaces in hot and humid conditions while at the same time reducing energy consumption. The solution? A passive facade. “Our proposal for Shenzhen Energy Mansion enhances the sustainable performance of the building drastically by only focusing on its envelope, the facade,” said Andreas Klok Pedersen, partner and design director at BIG. Collaborating with Transsolar, the design studio dedicated to addressing climate change, the firm employed various solutions to reduce solar-derived heat and glare without relying on machines or heavy glass coating (which would make views out seem gray and bleak). The building has achieved two out of three stars with the Chinese Green Building Evaluation Label and a LEED Gold rating. BIG and Transsolar developed a multifaceted passive program with a facade folded in an origami-like shape consisting of closed and open subsections. The closed sections provide high insulation values by blocking direct sunlight. “With solid facade panels on the southeast and southwest side for shading, the glazed facade facing northwest and northeast is able to achieve high sustainability requirements with more clarity and less coating,” said Pedersen. All in all, the effect enhances the environmentally sustainable performance of the building and creates an office mise-en-scène bathed in soft light reflected from the direct sunlight diffused between interior panels. Meanwhile, the double glazing applied to the low-e tempered Super Energy-Saving Insulated Glass Units (IGU) by Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington Glass on the folded facade provides open views through the clear glass in one direction via a series of simple deformations in the geometry that allows for larger openings. These interjecting pockets of glass create cavernous folds that interrupt the smooth facade in various interior areas, including lobbies, recreational areas, and meeting areas. This seemingly precarious arrangement of views is made possible by the aluminum cladding's comprising full-height extruded panels that form a meandering profile. The setup enables the panel system to interlock smoothly, creating a uniform surface with almost seamless joints. A profile of twists and turns accentuates the reflections of light. In effect, these solid facade panels located on the southeast and southwest sides directly obstruct solar penetration. “The amount of insulation used in the curtain wall is a result of optimization between visibility and sustainability,” said Pedersen. Location: Shenzhen, China Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group Consulting Architect: SADI Shenzhen Architecture and Design Institute Contractor: CSCEC Engineer: ARUP Facade Consultants: Front, Inc. and Aurecon Facade Contractor: Fangda Group Sustainability Consultant: Transsolar Glass Manufacturer, Supplier, Glazing: Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington Glass Group Co., Ltd Windows: Aumüller Exterior Cladding Panels: Xingfa Aluminum

Facades+ Returns to NYC April 19+20, 2018

Facades+ unites top professionals from the worlds of design, fabrication, and construction to consider how high performance envelopes contribute to and are shaped by NYC’s unique architectural landscape. Be inspired and learn how to innovate all steps of facade implementation—from systems and materials to designs and delivery strategies. Hear about the latest and greatest projects in NYC and around the world at Facades+. We provide proven insights on how to make your ideas become reality. We bring together some of the world’s most productive building professionals and leading researchers to share insights on how facades ideas are brought to life. On April 19th, join us for a stellar lineup of speakers and network with top manufacturers from across the AEC industry in our Methods+ Materials gallery. Keynotes by international, award-winning architects Francine Houben (Mecanoo) + Ian Ritchie (Ian Ritchie Architects) Join us on April 20th for your choice of deep-diving workshops lead by industry leading designers, engineers, and specialists. For more, visit facadesplus.com.

A skin for the spectacular? It has to be ETFE.

From biodomes to Disney resorts, "Sheds" and stadiums, ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, better known as ETFE, has become the material of choice for architects designing a venue for the spectacular. Appealing to designers as an affordable, translucent building skin, the material is now the go-to polymer for flamboyant facades. The Architect's Newspaper (AN) spoke to three firms leading the way to get the lowdown.

"When we designed Eden over twenty years ago, this was the largest installation of ETFE, which had principally been used for small sports buildings," said Andrew Whalley, Partner & Deputy Chairman at Grimshaw Architects. Whalley was, of course, referring to the Eden Project in the U.K.'s southwest, the project that put ETFE and its use for buildings on the map. Previously, the material had been used mostly in the aerospace industry, with the odd agricultural project thrown in. Now it was being used for huge, bulbous "biomes" that drew inspiration from Buckminster Fuller.

"I think the Eden project certainly gave it a much higher profile, which led quickly to its use on several high-profile buildings. This rise in popularity has lead to a continual refinement in the product, and with secondary applications," added Whalley.

Grimshaw has since gone on to be a pioneer of the polymer in architecture. Their U.K. National Space Center in Leicester was another landmark project, and, more recently, the firm has stepped it up a level, with the dazzling Disney resort, "Tomorrowland," in Shanghai. Whalley continued, "Current ETFE is much more transparent than its earlier version, is available in a range of color tints. It can be fritted, and combining this with variable air pressures can change the amount of light passing through the envelope." Light and colour certainly abound at Tomorrowland. David Dennis, Associate Principal at Grimshaw explained how this was achieved through a double-layered ETFE cushion that spans 164 feet across a complicated twin-gridshell canopy. This is then held in place by custom-formed aluminum clamps that respond to the tight bending and twisting of the structure. "ETFE’s inherent flexibility permitted spanning these complex forms. Meanwhile, advancements in imbedded color and custom-applied ‘frit’ patterns enabled a backdrop suitable for both daytime and nighttime light shows," elaborated Dennis. "The canopy structure required a lightweight cladding that could keep guests dry and comfortable in Shanghai’s wet summers. At the same time, it also needed to be an expressive and iconic canvas for lighting effects and projections that celebrate Disney’s stories and capture the Tomorrowland theme of an optimistic future," he added. "ETFE met these needs, providing flexibility of form and advanced capacity for showcase." But how is ETFE being used on U.S. shores? Alloy Kemp, a Senior Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti's New York office, was on hand. The engineering firm has already worked on numerous ETFE facades, including Banc of California Stadium (for the Los Angeles Football Club, MLS), the U.S. Bank Stadium (for the Minnesota Vikings) and the Hard Rock Stadium (for the Miami Dolphins) in Florida. Right now, Thornton Tomasetti is working with Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and the Rockwell Group on The Shed at Hudson Yards which, yes, you guessed it, has an ETFE facade. According to Kemp, The Shed uses a pneumatic system, whereby three foils made into a panel are inflated with air. "The air is not structural; it serves to stabilize the foils," said Kemp. "The outer foil is fritted (printed with silver ink in a dot pattern) to reduce the light transmission of the panel into the space." The middle foil, meanwhile, is clear, and the inner foil is white, with 20 percent opacity. Kemp remarked that the "overall effect is to diffuse and scatter the direct sunlight into the space." ETFE is also representing the U.S. on foreign soil, too. Back in the U.K., Philly-based studio KieranTimberlake Architects recently used the material to clad the U.S. Embassy in London. Partner at studio Matthew Krissell told AN how the "single layer tensioned membrane," arranged in an array of sails on three sides of the building, optimized natural daylighting with a high level of transparency. Meanwhile, the scrim also provided a second air gap to give further resistance to thermal transfer.
And so what of the future of ETFE? Whalley shared that Grimshaw is currently looking at new versions that integrate high-efficiency photovoltaic cells and low-emission coatings. He, along with Dennis, Kemp, and Krissell, will be talking about ETFE (and the projects mentioned here) in greater detail at the Facades+ NYC conference this April 19. Whalley is the event's co-chair while the rest will form a panel specifically on the material.
For more information and tickets please visit www.facadesplus.com. Seating is limited.

How can architects design facades for the age of climate change?

Taking environmental stresses into account when designing a building is typical, but rising tides, heat waves, extreme winds and other climate change-driven conditions present new challenges to building envelopes. Ahead of the upcoming Facades+ conference in New York City on April 19 and 20, AN sat down with Yan Chu of Adamson Associates Architects to discuss what can be done differently. Chu will be presenting as part of a 2:30 PM symposium panel on April 19 titled “Re-evaluating Metrics: Thermal Performance of Building Enclosures and Future Climate Change.” Chu will be joined by Nico Kienzl of Atelier Ten, Ken Kunkel of NC STATE, and Elizabeth Tomlinson of TKDA. Architect’s Newspaper: As climate change becomes more of a factor, how does facade performance need to change? Yan Chu: We design our facades and mechanical systems based on certain climatic data for that region. For New York City, it’s 11 degrees Fahrenheit, 17-mile-per-hour [winds], this is data all of us use every day and know by heart. These numbers have changed very slightly over time. I wonder if there’s a more fundamental rethinking of these basic design functions that we need to make to attack climate change from multiple fronts, beyond just increasing insulation value and decreasing air leakage rate. The data is all based on historical weather data. Every fourth-year cycle when this weather design data comes out, it’s based on the last 20 years, and that’s how [The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers] ASHRAE derives their design position that you and I and all of the engineers use. If we know that climate change is going to take us to a whole new level of weather conditions, why aren’t we using projected data? What are we actually using as our design basis? There is a whole sector of the design community trying to address resiliency and survivability. We need to find a way to fold that into the design process, and something we need to consider to holistically address climate change in terms of the building envelope. The idea of this panel is to talk about those issues. AN: Are there any big picture things that architects, engineers and designers can do? Chu: The passive house strategy is brilliant because it addresses the performance of the building together with the occupant’s comfort holistically. It really is a holistic way of thinking of design, and moving forward, it’s the kind of mentality we need to adopt. Whether we’re talking about glazed façades or more opaque facade elements, I think the challenge is to get owner incentives to adopt some of these holistic strategies into a larger scale. If we design a building today with the 2014 or 2016 energy code, I know for a fact it’s already not sufficient for when the next code comes. So I think the biggest challenge for us is, how do we incentivize buildings owners, occupants, and designers to address climate change without depending on the building code telling them to do so? The nice thing is that in Europe, the passive house movement is really being brought by the private sector. How can we bring that mentality to the U.S.? Especially for very large projects? AN: What will the impact of climate change be on envelopes? Chu: It depends on the climate and depends on what extreme events we’re being challenged with. On one hand, we have to re-evaluate the average condition; in some parts of the world, the temperature will increase, but in some locations, temperatures will actually decrease. The interesting thing is that certain wall systems have certain advantages in one climate region over another. That idea is limited because design is about flexibility, and you don’t want to prescribe a system that an architect has to design to. The idea of designing to what is the ‘norm’, and what extreme events are, that’s a huge question. Citing one example, flood resistance at storefronts at the ground level. That’s something new that all the architects in New York City are working on, not only specifying how this system works and what test criteria it conforms to, but also, how does it function in a normal day? We’re way in the beginning stage of understanding what that even is. It’s such a new thing that we know we’ll have to go on to full-on testing for this wall system to know what it can accommodate. Whether or not we end up with a standard IGU or something thicker is still something we’re working through. And how does that affect the interior conditions? It’s a big question mark, and it’s only one thing that we’re dealing with. Are we designing for a 50-year building, a 100-year building? The idea of durability has to come into play. That determines what extreme events we’re designing for, and results in a vastly different building. Facades+ in New York City will run from April 19 until April 20, 2018. Registration is still open and available at this link.

Facades+AM Dallas

Facades+AM Dallas is a morning forum which includes three sessions covering issues unique to building in Texas and the region These well-rounded, expert dialogues will inform and inspire. Learn and Earn 4 AIA Credits. The Facades+ conference series is a robust dialogue encompassing all things building skin—bridging the profession, industry, academia, operations, and ownership. We’ve distilled the best of the Facades+ 2-day event into quick-take morning forums with a strong local flair. Facades+AM is returning to Dallas February 20th, 2018 with the help of Perkins+Will & Corgan.

Here’s what to expect from Facades+L.A. this week

The 2017 Facades+ Conference in Los Angeles, presented by The Architect’s Newspaper, will kick off later this week, offering two full days of stimulating presentations, panels, and workshops. Day one —Thursday, October 19th—will showcase presentations by key regional and national industry leaders, including Deborah Weintraub, chief deputy city engineer for City of Los Angeles; Stanley Saitowitz, principal of Natoma Architects; Lorcan O’Herlihy, principal of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects; principals Julie Eizenberg and Nathan Bishop of Koning Eizenberg Architects; and Alice Kimm of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects. The symposium will also feature panel discussions covering the design of SOM’s Los Angeles Federal Courthouse; changing perceptions of supportive housing covered in L.A.; advances in facade design that utilize computational research; and sporting facilities for the 21st Century. AN covered the panel presentations in a previous post earlier this month. Thursday’s presentations will also include sessions led by industry product leaders Vitro, Neolith, and YKK, as well as opening remarks by AN’s Diana Darling. Day Two—Friday, October 20th—is dedicated to industry-focused workshops with both morning and afternoon sessions. Russell Fortmeyer of ARUP will lead a discussion on zero-energy facades. Another morning session will cover advanced detailing for high-performance envelopes and is led by Chris O’Hara of Studio NYL, Brad Prestbo of Sasaki, and Stan Su of Morphosis. Another will explore facade design using the software engine Dynamo that will be led by Daniel Segraves and Gijs Libourel of Thornton Tomasetti. Some afternoon highlights include a stick-built curtain wall intensive led by Bart Harrington of YKK and a discussion on the future of ETFE skins by a team from Walter P Moore. For more information and to buy passes for the conference, see the Facades+ website.

LOHA, JFAK, and top L.A. firms to present at AN’s Facades+ conference in Los Angeles

At The Architect’s Newspaper, we are busy getting ready for the upcoming Facades+ conference in Los Angeles taking place October 19th and 20th at the LA Hotel Downtown. The conference will bring together a wide collection of L.A.-based designers and practices ready to share their knowledge and expertise. Below, we bring you some highlights from AN’s recent coverage of some of our featured speakers! SOM, along with Los Angeles-based P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S and developer City Century, unveiled plans earlier this year for a three-tower complex named Olympia slated for a 3.25-acre site in Downtown Los Angeles. The mega-project plans to include 1,367 residential units, 40,000 square feet of retail space, and 115,000 square feet of open space, with the towers climbing to 43, 53, and 65 stories in height. Paul Danna and José Luis Palacios, Design Directors at SOM Los Angeles and Garth Ramsey, Senior Technical Designer, have been our partners in organizing upcoming Facades+ in Los Angeles. They will appear onstage with Keith Boswell—SOM’s Technical Partner—and Mark Kersey—from Clark Construction—to speak about the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse. Architects John Friedman Alice Kimm (JFAK) recently completed work on the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles. The 61,000-square-foot “sustainability factory” will act as a green tech-focused start-up incubator space that also collects rainwater to feed an onsite public park and is powered by sunlight. The complex is designed to facilitate daylight penetration into interior spaces and features public gathering areas and a robot fabrication lab. Alice Kimm, co-founder at JFAK will be giving an afternoon presentation at Facades+. A new four-story apartment complex designed by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects (LOHA) is currently under construction at 1030 N. Kings Road in West Hollywood, California. The 30-unit condominium complex will feature cantilevered corners, faceted facades, and perforated metal panel and wood cladding as well as partial courtyards that will bring light and air into each unit and the building’s circulation spaces and common areas. The cut-outs will also hold balconies for the units. Lorcan O'Herlihy, founder of LOHA, will be giving a morning presentation at Facades+. Koning Eizenberg Architects (KEA) recently completed work on the new Temple Israel of Hollywood complex in L.A., a new addition to the 91-year-old Spanish Colonial style synagogue. The new wing carves out a communal courtyard for the complex that is wrapped on one side by a folded aluminum shroud. The addition’s main interior gathering space features a drop-down ceiling made from CNC-milled maple wood as well. Both co-founder Julie Eizenberg and principal Nathan Bishop of KEA will be delivering a keynote address at the conference. Visit the Facades+ website to learn more and sign up for the conference.

Matthew Krissel of KieranTimberlake Architects on the coming Facades+ AM Philadelphia

How are computational devices changing the way we approach design? Why is it essential to look at building envelopes as more than just an environmentally-focused skin? These are some of the questions that will be raised at the coming Facades+ AM conference in Philadelphia on September 25. Matthew Krissel, a partner at KieranTimberlake Architects, will be acting as co-chair throughout the conference. Krissel worked with The Architect's Newspaper (AN) on the program for each of the three panels due to take place. "There is a rich history of design here as well as a growing group of young and emerging design practices doing innovative work," Krissel told AN. "At KieranTimberlake Architects, we are seeking continuous improvement of not just what we design and make but also how and why." The first panel will look at how technology is changing the way architects work with facades. From both a performance and poetic perspective, computational design has meant that contemporary designers approach building skins differently. Krissel talked about "augmenting a rich tradition of design processes" and exploring new methods of design. "Beyond simply using computation for expedient production, we see it as a means to expanding the creative potential of the design team." "In panel two, we take on the WHY, expanding the definition of performance to include desire, poetics, and cultural identity [which] elevate the human experience in meaningful ways," said Krissel. The panel will also look at how facades can be both environmentally responsive (and responsible) but also contribute to the phenomenological experience of a building.  The final panel will address, in relation to the previous discussions, what is being done in Philadelphia, the city where KieranTimberlake Architects is based. Surveying Philly buildings of various scales, this discussion will touch on why the design community must see their individual projects as part of a larger urban collective where buildings give back more than they take from society.  "I wanted the conference to take on a similar trajectory and create a larger narrative about the transformative capacity of design and the built environment," Krissel added. "This conference is an opportunity to build that narrative that extends from process to outcomes and do it with a mix of established practices and emerging voices in design." Facades+AM Philadelphia is at the National Museum of American Jewish History September 25th. Information at am.facadesplus.com.

David Manfredi on how democratic design principles shaped New Balance’s new headquarters

"Everybody values the opportunity to connect, it's changing the way we think about space," says David Manfredi, who is a co-founder of the Boston-based firm Elkus Manfredi Architects. His firm completed the New Balance headquarters, also in Boston, in 2015 and Manfredi this week spoke to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), discussing how democratic design principles such as openness and connectivity shape his approach to architecture.  When the owner of New Balance, Jim Davis, hired Elkus Manfredi Architects to design the shoe company's headquarters, he told the architects to visit an old textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts and report what they saw. There, David Manfredi encountered a four story high, 600-foot-long riverside former mill, now occupied by New Balance, who uses it as a factory. "It’s beautiful classic New England building," Manfredi told AN. (A short video on the building can be found below).  "We found this incredible work environment that was designed for all these people to sit at their machines," he continued. "What I really saw was that everything that we strive for in the modern workplace. [Jim Davis] wanted us to see the quality of the space, the high ceilings… and how open and collaborative the whole space was." The experience aligned with Manfredi's design ethos. At New Balance's headquarters, 650 people occupy the building yet there are only four private offices. "The historic traditional world of workspaces was related to stature. The boss’s room with a view, that’s all gone. We work now in environments where we now value connections to other people and not square footage," Manfredi argued. In addition to a new headquarters, Davis also wanted a new health and wellness district including offices, dwellings, wellness facilities and a world-class training center. "It's not just about making a building, it’s about creating a 360-degree environment," said Manfredi. The architect applied the same principles to address Davis' demands. Wellness (a topic that was featured in AN's recent print issue), openness, and connectivity all require the careful articulation of light, among other things. Apertures and openings, particularly in facade design, were crucial to these elements being successful. "We had to create a whole series of destinations, making sidewalks with uses that engage pedestrians, such as shops and usable open space where kids want to play."

"Our approach was that we wanted to be open, but this doesn't mean sprawling out with unnecessary surface parking," Manfredi added. "That way of thinking is in the past. Collaborating has changed, we achieve progress when connected, not in private. This is also a place for the next generation. Because of technology, we share everything online now—even my kids do it! My children and others won’t change when they get in the work workplace, they will expect to work in this environment of open innovation."

For this to happen, Manfredi argued that he had to "treat as much as the environment as publicly accessible, not trying to privatize, but instead to be democratic, so that spaces stay active past common hours of usage." An example of this can be seen with the Boston Warrior Ice Arena, where transparency facilitates a legible typological reading of the building. "How often to see an ice arena that has 40 feet of glass?" asked Manfredi. 

David Manfredi will be speaking at the upcoming Facades+ conference this June. There, he will discuss this project and others in greater detail. To find out more about the Facades+ Boston conference and register, visit facadesplus.com. Seating is limited.

Sasaki uses big data and technology to revitalize buildings and cities

Technology and big data go hand-in-hand and Boston-based firm Sasaki is one of the firms leading the way. Sasaki's work touches on economic activity, master planning, urban regeneration, and resiliency. Big data is crucial for such work.

Brad Barnett is a director of strategies at Sasaki. Within this position, his role includes city planning, designing, and data visualization as well as engaging designers with people that he described to The Architect's Newspaper (AN) as being "from the pure technology side."

"Cities so far have been inert objects," said Barnett. "They are built to be offices and dwellings. We are looking at them being multi-layered." Barnett continued to explain how society is evolving to cater to technology at varying levels. Sensors can help you park your car, but they can also be used to monitor pedestrian flow within the built environment. The latter is being looked into by Sasaki with traffic signals that can analyze car traffic in Boston.

An example of big data in use can be seen with Sasaki's work in the city of Houston where Sasaki is using data from Yelp! to aid the city's understanding the downtown districts. "This can help them understand which areas are in demand during the day and night and why: for shopping, eating, being entertained etc. This can help us look at what time of day people need access to certain amenities."

Another incidence of this approach being used is evident in Sasaki's plan for New Bedford, a New England town with a working waterfront. By analyzing pedestrian circulation, Sasaki was able to pinpoint areas for potential economic development using data visualization cartographically in the process. Further coverage by AN of that scheme can be seen here.

Technology integration, meanwhile, can be found at the University of Missouri–Kansas City Miller Nichols Library, another project on which the Boston-based firm worked. Here, a dense central core of book stacks was moved to a new wing that housed an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Subsequently, the reduction in square footage (usually required by traditional book stacks) minimized site disturbance and preserved green space. Energy loads for lighting, temperature, and humidity are all reduced in the ASRS compared to the requirements of spaces that integrate shelving with populated study space.

Sasaki described the original Miller Nichols Library as a "fortress-like structure typical of the Brutalist architectural style of the 1960s." Retrofitting is an emerging topic in architecture discourse as typologies become redundant in certain respects and new technology comes around.

At AN's upcoming Facades+ conference in Boston, this topic will be addressed in a panel on modernist performance retrofitting. Another panel, meanwhile, will look at how urban data is informing facade design. Barnett will be on hand at the event to act as a panel moderator.

The event's co-chair is Senior Associate at Sasaki, Brad Prestbo. Prestbo is also a co-founder of MakeTank!, an upcoming program at the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) that looks how technology is changing the way architects make and build. MakeTank! aims to engage makers throughout New England and aims to serve architecture studios that do not have access to such [technological] facilities. "It is a group devoted to exploring the frontiers of fabrication and design," Prestbo told AN.

To find out more about the Facades+ Boston conference and register, visit facadesplus.com. Seating is limited.

Dominique Perrault talks about “magic mountains” and political protests at Facades+

The Architect's Newspaper's Facades+  conference kicked off today in New York and wasted no time getting into the action. French architect Dominique Perrault opened the conference with a keynote discussing a number of buildings from around the world (three of which are featured here), each utilizing facade systems in different ways, ranging from below-grade skins to "tree-like" designs. An overarching theme of the projects Perrault presented was the use of the facade as a democratizing tool that filtered between the public and private realms, defining spaces both inside and out. An example of this could be seen with the refurbishment of Pont de Sèvres Towers (now know as "CityLights"), a collection of three office high-rises in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Here, "the facade follows you into the building," said Perrault, explaining how the predominantly glass-based facade acts as a device that dampens the street/structure threshold. The concept of the threshold, however, prevails. More formal spaces branch out from a triple-height entranceway, likened by Perrault to a "theater" that looks out onto a large plaza in front of the two towers it is nestled between. For the upper reaches of the towers, Perrault prescribed more glass fenestration, the lighting arrangement of which gives the complex its new name. The interiors, meanwhile, were reorganized so that "everybody has a window," thus providing much access to daylight. Come sundown, spotlights illuminate the angled nature of the skin, highlighting its textural qualities. Perrault described the structures' presence on the landscape as “magic mountain.” "Access" was another key element of his speech. Perrault demonstrated how facades contribute to this in a multifaceted way. This could be seen at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, where the building is built into the site, divided by a wide, sloping walkway that splits the project's two volumes, seemingly carving its way through the landscape. When designing below grade, Perrault noted that making the most of light is important. The wide path allows light to penetrate fenestration on both sides path. At night, the light emitted from these facades illuminates the outdoor area. Both of these qualities would usually suggest a very open and transparent facade. However, the vertical arrangement of window panels and angular approach to the building obscure views inside. This is necessary, as the walkway is a public street that extends from the local subway station. The area, however, has become a place for student congregation and activity, most notably being a venue for political protests (one of which attracted 3,000 students) against the incumbent South Korean president. "The design of this was initially a geographical statement and now it is a political story," Perrault noted. Keeping with East Asia, Perrault pointed to another project in Asia the Fukoku Life Tower in Osaka, Japan, which features a tapering facade that splays out at the base. This was in response to insurance firm Fukoku's desire to share the base of the of the tower with the public, creating what Perrault called "an atrium for the people," likening the form to that of a tree. "We changed the morphology of the basement, twisting the ‘trunk of the tree’ and connecting with the urban fabric which resulted in a very pure geometry," Perrault said. "The world is not flat, and never is the facade!" Another building discussed by Perrault was the Mechanics Hall at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland. An in-depth article on the building and its facade was featured by John Stoughton of The Architect's Newspaper and can be found here.

Hear publisher and conference director Diana Darling on a new podcast

Listen to The Architect's Newspaper publisher and Facades+ conference director Diana Darling speak on the latest edition of Everything Building Envelope, a podcast that highlights the latest innovations in the building envelope industry. She discusses the company and its mission changes over the years, which includes the growth of the Facades+ program of conferences and editorial content. You can hear all about the events, who attends, and get up to date on where and when the next big things will be happening. She also gives a sneak peak of our latest project, the Tech+ Expo, a cutting-edge gathering of AEC industry experts and professionals that focuses on how technology is changing how we make and experience our built environment. Check out the latest episode with Diana Darling here.