A façade ( // ( listen )) (also written facade) is generally the front part or exterior of a building. It is a loan word from the French façade (pronounced [fasad] ), which means 'frontage' or 'face'.
In architecture, the façade of a building is often the most important aspect from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building. From the engineering perspective, the façade is also of great importance due to its impact on energy efficiency.For historical façades, many local zoning regulations or other laws greatly restrict or even forbid their alteration.
The word is a loanword from the French façade, which in turn comes from the Italian facciata, from faccia meaning 'face', ultimately from post-classical Latin facia. The earliest usage recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is 1656.
It was quite common in the Georgian period for existing houses in English towns to be given a fashionable new façade. For example, in the city of Bath, The Bunch of Grapes in Westgate Street appears to be a Georgian building, but the appearance is only skin deep and some of the interior rooms still have Jacobean plasterwork ceilings.
This new construction has happened also in other places: in Santiago de Compostela the three-metre-deep Casa do Cabido was built to match the architectural order of the square, and the main Churrigueresque façade of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, facing the Praza do Obradoiro, is actually encasing and concealing the older Portico of Glory.
In modern high rise building, the exterior walls are often suspended from the concrete floor slabs. Examples include curtain walls and precast concrete walls. The façade can at times be required to have a fire-resistance rating, for instance, if two buildings are very close together, to lower the likelihood of fire spreading from one building to another.
In general, the façade systems that are suspended or attached to the precast concrete slabs will be made from aluminium (powder coated or anodized) or stainless steel. In recent years more lavish materials such as titanium have sometimes been used, but due to their cost and susceptibility to panel edge staining these have not been popular.
Whether rated or not, fire protection is always a design consideration. The melting point of aluminium, 660 °C (1,220 °F), is typically reached within minutes of the start of a fire. Fire stops for such building joints can be qualified, too. Putting fire sprinkler systems on each floor has a profoundly positive effect on the fire safety of buildings with curtain walls.
The extended use of new materials like polymers, resulted in an increase of high-rise building facade fires over the past few years, since they are more flammable than traditional materials.
Some building codes also limit the percentage of window area in exterior walls. When the exterior wall is not rated, the perimeter slab edge becomes a junction where rated slabs are abutting an unrated wall. For rated walls, one may also choose rated windows and fire doors, to maintain that wall's rating.
On a film set and within most themed attractions, many of the buildings are only façade, which are far cheaper than actual buildings, and not subject to building codes (within film sets). In film sets, they are simply held up with supports from behind, and sometimes have boxes for actors to step in and out of from the front if necessary for a scene. Within theme parks, they are usually decoration for the interior ride or attraction, which is based on a simple building design.
A wall is a structure and a surface that defines an area; carries a load; provides security, shelter, or soundproofing; or, is decorative. There are many kinds of walls, including:
A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, utilized only to keep the weather out and the occupants in. Since the curtain wall is non-structural, it can be made of lightweight materials, such as glass, thereby potentially reducing construction costs. An additional advantage of glass is that natural light can penetrate deeper within the building. The curtain wall façade does not carry any structural load from the building other than its own dead load weight. The wall transfers lateral wind loads that are incident upon it to the main building structure through connections at floors or columns of the building. A curtain wall is designed to resist air and water infiltration, absorb sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building, withstand wind loads, and support its own weight.
Lever House is a 307-foot-tall (94 m) office building at 390 Park Avenue in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. The building was designed in the International Style by Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as the headquarters of soap company Lever Brothers, a subsidiary of Unilever. Constructed from 1950 to 1952, it was the second skyscraper in New York City with a glass curtain wall, after the United Nations Secretariat Building.
A multistorey car park or parking garage, also called a multistory, parking building, parking structure, parkade, parking ramp, parking deck or indoor parking, is a building designed for car, motorcycle & bicycle parking and where there are a number of floors or levels on which parking takes place. It is essentially an indoor, stacked car park. The first known multistory facility was built in London in 1901, and the first underground parking was built in Barcelona in 1904. The term multistory is almost never used in the US, since parking structures are almost all multiple levels. Parking structures may be heated if they are enclosed.
A concrete slab is a common structural element of modern buildings, consisting of a flat, horizontal surface made of cast concrete. Steel-reinforced slabs, typically between 100 and 500 mm thick, are most often used to construct floors and ceilings, while thinner mud slabs may be used for exterior paving.
Formwork is molds into which concrete or similar materials are either precast or cast-in-place. In the context of concrete construction, the falsework supports the shuttering molds. In specialty applications formwork may be permanently incorporated into the final structure, adding insulation or helping reinforce the finished structure.
The Rookery Building is a historic office building located at 209 South LaSalle Street in the Chicago Loop. Completed by architects Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root of Burnham and Root in 1888, it is considered one of their masterpiece buildings, and was once the location of their offices. The building is 181 feet (55 m) in height, twelve stories tall, and is considered the oldest standing high-rise in Chicago. It has a unique construction style featuring exterior load-bearing walls and an interior steel frame, providing a transition between accepted and new building techniques. The lobby was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright. From 1989 to 1992, the lobby was restored to Wright's design.
Precast concrete is a construction product produced by casting concrete in a reusable mold or "form" which is then cured in a controlled environment, transported to the construction site and maneuvered into place; examples include precast beams, and wall panels for tilt up construction. In contrast, cast-in-place concrete is poured into site-specific forms and cured on site.
Stone veneer is a thin layer of any stone used as decorative facing material that is not meant to be load bearing. Stone cladding is a stone veneer, or simulated stone, applied to a building or other structure made of a material other than stone. Stone cladding is sometimes applied to concrete and steel buildings as part of their original architectural design.
A building joint is a junction where building elements meet without applying a static load from one element to another. When one or more of these vertical or horizontal elements that meet are required by the local building code to have a fire-resistance rating, the resulting opening that makes up the joint must be firestopped in order to restore the required compartmentalisation.
The Ardea, formerly 3720, is a 30-story 99.06 m (325.0 ft) apartment skyscraper in the South Waterfront district of Portland, Oregon. The building was completed in March 2009, however was turned over in phases allowing occupancy beginning in August 2008. The Ardea was developed by Gerding Edlen, designed by GBD Architects, and constructed by Hoffman Construction. The building was initially designed to be a condominium building but was converted to apartments after the Portland housing and condominium supply outstripped demand. The Ardea joins John Ross Tower as the seventh tallest building in Portland.
Centennial Tower is a 158 m (518 ft), 37 storey high-rise office skyscraper in the central business district of Singapore. It is located on 3 Temasek Avenue, in the zone of Marina Centre. The building is nearby other skyscrapers such as Millenia Tower, and Suntec City.
Studcast concrete, also called "pre-framed concrete", combines relatively thin concrete layers with cold formed steel framing to create hybrid panels; the result is a panelized system usable for cladding, curtain walls, shaft walls, and load-bearing exterior and interior walls. Studcast panels install in the same manner as prefabricated steel stud panels. The technology is applicable for both factory prefabrication and site-cast (tilt-up) wall construction on almost all types of buildings, including multifamily housing, schools, industrial, commercial and institutional structures.
Prefabs were a major part of the delivery plan to address the United Kingdom's post–Second World War housing shortage. They were envisaged by war-time prime minister Winston Churchill in March 1944, and legally outlined in the Housing Act 1944.
The Standard, High Line, formerly The Standard, is an 18-story luxury boutique hotel located at 848 Washington Street between West 13th and Little West 12th Streets in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, New York City. It stands 57 feet (17 m) above street level, above the High Line, a former elevated railroad track reconstructed into a linear park. The hotel, which has 338 guest rooms, was designed by the architects Ennead Architects and was completed in 2009. Architype Review, an online architecture publication, heralded the hotel as being "straightforward, [and] thoughtfully conceived, [something] that is all too rare in the City today."
Kolbjørn Saether P.E., M.ASCE was an American structural engineer in the City of Chicago for 47 years. Saether dedicated his life to engineering and was known as a leader in his field. He was a past director of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois and was the organization's president from 1980 to 1981. During his career he developed innovative engineering solutions for skyrise building construction that are now part of the Chicago skyline, published theoretical insights to enhance the state of the art in structural engineering, and patented novel techniques to advance the art of building construction.
Grafton House is the headquarters for Ipswich Borough Council and Smartest Energy. Located on Russell Road (Ipswich) opposite Endeavour House, Grafton House is a 6-storey building and was designed by Consarc Consulting Architects and construction was completed in 2006 as part of the Ipswich Village Development. The building consists of mixed retail units at ground level including a coffee shop and 60,000 sq feet of office space. Grafton House was also classed as 'very good' by BREEAM standards.
The Edificio del Seguro Médico is a commercial building in El Vedado, Havana. Built between 1955 and 1958, it was designed as a mixed use building for apartments and offices for the headquarters of the National Medical Insurance Company by Antonio Quintana Simonetti.
Qantas House is an Australian heritage-listed office building at 68-96 Hunter Street, Sydney. It was designed by Rudder, Littlemore & Rudder and built from 1955 to 1957 by Concrete Constructions Pty Ltd. It is also known as No. 1 Chifley Square. The site was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 May 2001.
The Hotel Rosita De Hornedo, located in the Puntilla area of Miramar, was one of the first major buildings to be built by a private developer in the 1950s in Havana.