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How facades stand out

Façade contractors come up with the most savvy materials and design. The engineering they execute when setting up façades is nothing short of a miracle. We feature eight outstanding façade and window projects that have become landmarks in the city they are in

Smart facades can capture the mind of a city.
Smart facades can capture the mind of a city.

Aesthetics and fire safety have emerged as the driving factors in commercial wall and façade trends. Developers and façade contractors need to be careful of their choice of cladding and façades based on a careful evaluation of a product’s ability to stand up against the elements, while providing a durable, aesthetically pleasing appearance.

The trends and styles of exterior cladding in commercial projects are continually evolving in response to client demands and consumer perceptions. In the current environment, these are being shaped by aesthetics, the desire for green space and events bringing fire safety and certification to the forefront of client and consumer concerns.

Choice of cladding and façades needs to be based on a careful evaluation of a product’s ability to stand up against the elements, while providing a durable, aesthetically pleasing appearance. Moreover, façade contractors are exploring novelty in materials and design and also innovative methods of installation.
This issue looks at some of the fascinating façade projects that are landmarks in their own way in the respective city they are in.

Fundermax India

‘The School of Architecture’ for the students of Nitte Meenakshi College of Engineering Bangalore, was imagined to be a working laboratory of architectural detail. The design objective was to highlight the corner of the building, as an ‘accented pylon’ and demonstrate ways in which a singular material can be used to protect the fenestration - as angled, vertical and horizontal elements. Ace Group Architects designed a shade louver with traditional wooden detailing, but with a contemporary material. This combination elements of wood, mild steel & glass was achieved by the ‘Nature’ range of FunderMax panels.

Panels are extremely weather-resistant, fire retardant, and maintenance-free. It was crucial to ensure three factors: structural integrity, aesthetics, and transparency. The selected FunderMax decor was customised to calculated dimensions and modules were created to complete the look of solid wooden verticals. Special cleats were fabricated to wrap the panels around the steel sections, which then supported the louvers.

Schüco India

The brief of the project, Residence 145, located in the southern sector of Chandigarh,  was to design a house for three generations of a joint family, ensuring a perfect balance of connectivity yet segregation. It had height restrictions.

The central idea was to create a sequential progression from public to private zones by using the courtyard & vertical circulation as the divider between the two. Also, the varied volumetric scales of public & private zones and their different interactions with the exterior was an essential part of the idea.
Schüco specified Schüco TropTech AS 39 SC.NI non-insulated product with triple-track outer frame, as it offers an impressive slim line face width.The piercing light from the sky through the openings in the roof and the clear structure in the form of the circular columns & two common walls manifest the materialisation of that idea.

The fragments of nature have been carefully introduced to stimulate the occupants not just visually, but with the sound of flowing water, fragrance of the plantation inside and well worked out wind flow pattern.

*Architect Firm: Charge Voids
*Photographer: Javier Callejas

Glass Wall Systems

The Bagmane Goldstone façade is a USGBC Gold LEED Certified project. The system was designed to withstand loading parameters and design wind pressure of 1.25Kpa and above with self-bearing modular elements supported between floors, EPDM gaskets to prevent air & water penetration, supporting brackets (resistance to design wind pressure), and built-in continuous internal drainage gutter for collection at lowesta floor level. System was designed with open groove joint system and the aluminum member and sealant not made visible on the external surface except colour anodised aluminum holder to the required width and thickness as per design at the bottom of panel as dead load support to the glass panel.

It called for fixing pre-assembled aluminum frame work designed to withstand wind pressure and continuous framing system for structurally glazed panel and split framing system for structurally glazed punched windows. Joints between mullion and transom were filled with weather sealant on the inside.

All aluminum extruded profiles were powder coated to 60microns.

Aluplex

Aluplex worked with Lodha Group for the execution of Tower 1 & 2 of The Park. The façade system incorporates the use of a ventilation system, wherein air circulation and ventilation is achieved within the building at high wind-loads of 4.5kPa without opening the side-hung window and this has been achieved by incorporating  passive ventilators. Similarly, the unitised curtainwall system has been designed to have a concealed ooperable window system, wherein one cannot tell if it is a fixed window panel or an openable one by the use of complex fabrication methodology. The project also incorporates the used of expanded mesh and perforated sheets instead of louvers that are typically used, to enclose mechanical service floors, and ducts.

The architect had a vision to achieve the use of slim sight-lines even though the full height windows are 2.5m in height and withstand a wind pressure of 4.5kPa.

The unitised system had large aluminium sunshades of 450mm depth projecting from the face of the glass façade which was supported to the mullions without attachment to the building structure. This was challenging and was achieved using a methodology wherein the sunshades were fixed onto the façade panel prior to hoisting of the unitised panel, and thus perfect alignment was grooves were maintained. 

Aluplex worked with renowned international architects (WOHA, Singapore) and façade consultants (BES Consultants).

K Raheja Corp

One of the most remarkable and complex features of a building structure is its façade.

At Mindspace, Airoli West, glazing is an energy efficient technique used wherein a low ‘e’ double glazed glass is used to reduce the heat ingression into the building. These windows help make the indoor area more comfortable, it dramatically reduces energy costs and helps to create a brighter, cleaner and healthier environment. Another design aspect in façades that we use enables maximum daylight inside the building, so the occupants can enjoy sunlight as well as outside views. Recycled aluminium frames are also used for the façades in our projects designed keeping the long-term environmental sustainability as the top most priority.

Companies today have adapted to this change and are incorporating latest developments in their services, designs, materials and construction machineries. With a strong focus on improving the interiors as well as the exteriors of buildings, organisations thrive to offer the best in class with skilfully planned and executed projects that have significant impacts on modern day living.

Godrej Properties


The façade is one of the most critical elements of a well-engineered Grade A office asset and determines the external expression of its architectural intent.
Apart from aesthetics, climatic response and sustainability play a critical role in treatment, material selection and engineering. The design of Godrej BKC pushes the boundaries of façade engineering to a new level especially for delivery in the Indian context. Designed and engineered by New York-based SOM, the external envelope performs well on daylighting, solar shading, minimising heat gain and creating a distinct aesthetic.

SOM brought this through collaboration with GPL Design Studio. The delivery involved an intense design and engineering delivered by contractor Alufit.
The process involves design and engineering through a collaborative engagement to achieve the final product. The façade, value engineered from tender stage till contractor’s shop drawings are evaluated using both a full-scale visual mockup as well as performance tests.

The successful evaluation on both parameters demonstrates that a robust engagement between design led engineering and competent contractors is instrumental in delivering the final product.

Omkar Realtors & Developers


Growing majestically above the city and the Arabian Sea, Omkar 1973 stands as the highest tall residential tower in Mumbai by Omkar Realtors and Developers. The triumphant story of the completion of Omkar 1973 was the talk of the town.

In total 35,000 assemble panels were manufactured at the fabricator’s premises and with diligent supply chain management safely shipped, installed in a record of 16 months period with the following implementation.

Curved façade systems using unitised CW bespoke system with wind simulation and comfort study for the penthouse and large open areas. Highly optimised framing systems using FEM techniques resulted in major cost savings. Simplified bracket and fixings, resulted in faster construction. Bespoke façades for penthouse curved glazing and implementing site QAQC with systematic quality checking by senior façade specialists was done.

The Wadhwa Group


The residential project 25 South Prabhadevi is right opposite the Siddhivinayak temple, on one of the largest land parcels close to the Arabian Sea.

The unique façade aesthetics used are the form liner technique by ‘Reckli’ which is an exquisite and sustainable German-engineered technology. In this integration, the form liners is cast in concrete instead of using an external cladding of aluminum or ceramic tiles which get damaged over time and demand high maintenance. Form liners are highly durable and only maintenance they require is repainting. They also avoid spreading of fire, unlike other cladding materials generally used.

The façade system for this project is provided by Schüco which provides maximum energy efficiency and highest quality design. The Schüco façade of tilt and turn windows provide controlled air flow for maximum cross ventilation. They are easy to clean as this is innovation in glass façade which allows maximum light but very less radiation and heat. The Schüco glass façade is further enhanced with double silver coating making it energy efficient.

From innovative technologies to revolutionary construction & design techniques, The Wadhwa Group continuously look at integrating best practices by adopting global trends which help deliver value and improve the quality of construction. Ensuring the best design standards, which focuses on the residents living in those spaces rather than the elevation of the building.

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July 2019
09 Jul 2019