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Role of Façade In Architecture

First impressions last forever. As for the buildings, this is the job of the façade or the exterior components of the building. The role of the façade in architecture is versatile. Be it a man or a monument; everything has a façade. However, the façade is a famous terminology in architecture.

As an external element in the building structure, the façade holds a lot of responsibilities. Sometimes it surpasses itself from being a mere outer layer. A façade is a generic reference for all the external surfaces of the building.

Due to the significance of the exterior appearance, only the road facing or the front elevation of the building is often prioritized. Sometimes government buildings have certain elevation design codes to maintain their urban characteristics. For instance, dish antenna and ac outlets are avoided in the front elevation as they spoil the structure’s aesthetic appeal.

Read on as we discuss the versatility of these facades and what is their contribution to architecture.

Enhances Character and Personality

Façade in Architecture
Hive house, Surat: Image source – archdaily.com

Buildings are built every day. However, only a few of those create an everlasting impression. Why? Because they might lack character and personality. Even the functionally well-executed building can fail to anchor its hold in history for the same reason. Any building can embrace a personality regardless of its functional and demographical orientation. These personality traits decide the connection they develop with the users. 

The façade is the voice of the building. Buildings with large and bold facade elements have more authority than simpler facades. These facades are consciously designed to add visual hierarchy and significance to certain spaces and are deliberately scaled down at certain places to maintain balance and uniformity.

Provides Exterior Protection

The external components of the building or the façade are exposed to the extremes of climates. The façade directly interacts with the rain, heat, snow, and dust. Designing an efficient and strong façade is vital to protect the interior of the building. The evolution of movable shading devices, also behaving as facades, are architectural combating measures for climate-responsive designs.

Allows Ventilation and Insulation

Façade in Architecture
Library in Copenhagen, Denmark: Image source – architizer.com

An ideal architectural design is an amalgamation of function and form. Treating ventilation and insulation to aesthetical forms can be challenging. However, experts are collaborating these functional elements into the facades. Designing the facade as a functional structure is phenomenal. These approaches begin to redefine the role of the facade in architecture. 

The Library, by COBE, in Copenhagen, Denmark, uses the perforated façade structure to ventilate the building. The façade creates a unique focal point in the community as it also merges the aspects of a common space for gatherings, workshops, and concerts.

Upgrades the Energy-Efficiency

One central park; Image source – archdaily.com

Did you know buildings can be self-sufficient? Apart from using facades to regulate the building temperatures, experts are pushing the potential of the facades. To combat the environmental and economic crisis, designers have adapted self-sufficient mechanisms in buildings. 

These buildings are consciously designed to cut down your electric and water bills. Most of which involve the facades to attain sustainability. These buildings can use solar energy and kinetics mechanisms to fulfill the user’s needs like electricity, ventilation, and insulation. 

One Central Park in Australia is a huge green building. The façade of this hybrid building consists of luscious greeneries. It consists of almost 250 species of local Australian plants in it. 

Improves User Productivity and Comfort 

Comfortable user experience is the ultimate goal of any designer. Similarly, buildings can contribute to their users’ productivity and comfort. Since the facades are the access points for ventilation and insulation, optimizing them can make the building efficient. 

Controllable facades are game-changers in the façade evolution! These can control the light and heat that enters and exits the buildings. Depending on the climatic needs, the users can adjust the building’s temperature and lighting, thereby regulating their comfort and productivity. Those controllable façade elements include automated systems, louvers, and shading devices.

Provides Passive Security

Facades that provide security in disguise. The significance of security routes us back to the need for constructing any building in the first place. Security cameras, barricades, metal spikes, etc., are active security elements. At the same time, passive security includes all the subtle building elements designed for security reasons. Double skin facades are the most common techniques that are currently in use. 

Elements like perforations, shading devices, etc., are smartly merged with the building’s façade. These elements add aesthetic appeal to the building while providing security in disguise. From the inside, these elements can increase the user experience by altering the interior temperature and lighting without compromising its privacy and security.

Passive security in Architecture : Image source – azahner.com

These are the details of the Okie Blanchard sports complex. The perforated metal sheets restrict the visual and spatial connectivity between the space below the bleachers and the exterior. The smart implementation of passive security is very subtle and distracts the viewers from considering it an actual barrier. 

Brings Life to the Building

The purpose of facades is versatile and customized according to the project’s requirements. From aesthetic appeal, exterior protection, and energy efficiency to user comfort, productivity, and security, facades are true all-rounders. Understanding the facades’ potential can help designers create an efficient building that regulates the locality’s environmental, economic, and social wellbeing. 

In a nutshell, with all these aspects in consideration, it is evident that the role of the façade in architecture is flexible, resourceful, and versatile. It brings life to the building by creating a visual appeal and immediate connection with the viewer. The functional upgrades of the facades significantly upsurge the conventional building approaches. 

By Hajara Banu

Hajara Banu is a professional architect, content writer, and strategist. She is on her journey to share her love of architecture, design, and content creation. Besides writing, Hajara loves coffee and often experiments with cooking and organizing in her free time.

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