martes, 18 de abril de 2017


Chybik+Kristof Associated Architects created a prefabricated construction for a cafeteria project for the factory where the modules are produced. The facility provides a showroom for the company “KOMA Modular” (specializing in prefab modular constructions), located on the outskirts of Czech town Vizoice.

The company wished to create a facility for its staff members, accommodating washrooms and changing rooms as well as a cafeteria for snacks and lunch.

The architects decided to use the company´s most commonly developed module and develop a design around it combining a system of opaque staged volumes on the ground floor with a more transparent volume on the upper floor.

Architect Ondrej Chybik  stated that "The whole cafeteria was designed in accordance with the module of nine metres by three metres, and it is this limitation which determines the aesthetics of the building, together with the operating scheme. To achieve the clarity of the modular structure, we chose an identical size of the modules for the whole construction."

On the ground floor – hosting the changing areas – the modules are staggered to emphasize the idea that the building is constructed by individual units. Meanwhile, the irregular placement of the volumes enables the roof of some units to be used as a terrace by the upper floor cafeteria.

The external surface is surrounded by expanded metal mesh for the ground floor façade, uniting the different masses together. On the upper floor glazed walls surround three out of the four walls of the building.

The architects commented on the advantages of prefabricated units being the speed of assembly since the internal partitions, mechanical and electrical services are al integrated during the process of production.

Thus the project demonstrated that unique and evolving architecture can happen using prefabricated modules.

Client: KOMA Modular Construction
Location: Ricanska Street 1191, Vizovice, Czech Republic
Year: 2013-14
Programme: cafeteria, changing rooms, facilities
Investment: CZK 25,000,000
Size: 450 m2
Status: completed
Team: Ondrej Chybik, Michal Kristof, Vojtech Kouril

lunes, 13 de marzo de 2017


Nowadays, it has become a reality to create transforming facades of buildings (traditionally conceived walls for insulation) into active skins capable of generating energy.

The system is developed by the BERSA industry consortium, designed and conceived by RLA 
"BioPix" is a multidisciplinary project applied to a universal facade system able to respond to cuttent needs. As construction has reached a rate of 30% of the total energy consumption. The particular concept highlights the advantages provided by high thermal insulation adding new technologies of solar engineering systems.

The Biopix patent is a flexible system that is able to provide the best energy rate response for each location, especially developed to adapt to the particular weather conditions.

Design & concept: RLA studio, Madrid
Industrialization System:  BERSA industry consortium

jueves, 16 de febrero de 2017

 Agbar Tower

The Agbar Tower has been build between 2001 and 2005 in the city of Barcelona. The authors of this tower are B720 Arquitectos and Jean Nouvel. This project needed the collaboration of the technical architect Josep Gilabert and the engineering companies Gepro BOMA and Master Ingeniria.

The building was inspired by the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi. The building represent the constant changing of a water fountain.

The Catalonian tower is 144 meters height, 35 meters width and 39 meters length. It is composed by 35 floors accessible by 11 elevators. The land area reach a total of 50.700 square meters.

The façade can be qualified of media – active. The structure is build with reinforced concrete while the outside layer of the double façade is composed out of over 4.500 window openings cut of the structural concrete. The translucent glass supported by an aluminium frame as well as the concrete surface allows the building to have a good insulation to the exterior and thus make it easy to control the inside temperatures. 


The building is formed as the union of two opposites : the lightness of glass that covers the building in the form of slats 120 x 30 cm, forming a large brise -soleil and the massiveness of the concrete structure, creating between one great fractal. The space between the façade layers allows a natural circulation of air in the building.

The concrete skin pattern is the result of calculations. The part snot needed to transmit the loads have been removed in order to create apertures. The apertures have also been designed in order to play with the views of the city.

The interior main core as well as the concrete façade allows the interior plan to be free from pillars.

Depending on the incidence of light, the tower changes its colours - the coloured aluminium sheeting that reflects the light consists of 40 different colours of high gloss.

The building is also very impressive at night as the 4.500 glass louvers get illuminated.


"Agbar Tower." Agbar Tower – WikiArquitectura. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Torre Agbar." Filt3rs. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Torre Agbar." Torre Agbar, the Newest Attraction of Barcelona

martes, 31 de enero de 2017


"What if a building, like the organ, could filter toxins and protect people?"

A facade made out of prefab concrete pieces with a passive filtration system that cleans the particles from the aire such as dust.

Assembly: The coupler is the entrance of aire and filter for the particles.
                                          The concrete blocks have several voids for the reinforcement shafts and the coupler

The filtered air enters through the opening of the coupler and through a spiral system the particles are pushed down and collected in the hopper located in the base of the wall. The clean air is introduced in the building

Asembly of the pieces from the base.

Concrete block real scale

jueves, 26 de enero de 2017

BBVA Headquarters_Madrid_Herzog & de Meuron

Building envelope

      • A facade of the highest thermal and acoustic insulation (double glazing, inert gas chamber, ...). Brise-soleils are designed for energy simulation to optimize the entry of natural light, avoiding the direct sunlight and allowing the outside views.
       • The tests performed show that the air conditioning systems requires two hours less of daily consumption compared with other buildings without these elements.


• Screens are fixed pieces, although many people think otherwise. The orientation of the slats changes in each façade, according to sunlight.

• These are pieces of steel coated with carbon-fibre-reinforced polyester and lacquered white. The design of these pieces is based on the human scale, the figure of a person sitting and standing are the positions of a worker in the office area, in order to generate a balance.

• Brise-soleils have various widths to achieve a relatively smooth surface on the outside. Theones of a single height are placed along the whole facade and double brise-soleils are placed on entrances or connecting areas. Moreover, the pieces protect from direct solar incidence and allow the opening of exterior views, allowing light to enter all spaces. Thanks to these brise-soleils it is possible to have a 49,000 m² glazed surface that allows 90% of the interior space to have natural light, thus generating huge energy savings.

Composition of glass

The glass is composed of a section formed by:
- Double monolithic glass (6+6mm).
- Argon chamber of 20 mm.
Double laminated glass (8+8 mm).

prosolve370e by elegant embellishment

Elegant Embellishment (Berlin based architects, Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag) created this sculptural facade to improve the air of the city. 

Name : Torre de Especialidades, Hospital Manuel Gea Gonzales
Location : Mexico City
ArchitectElegant Embellishment (Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag, Berlin)

Year of Completion : 2012

What is it ?

This is a facade sculpture aiming to improve the natural light and clean the air.

Materials :  
- titanium dioxyde (TiO2)
- ABS-polycarbonate plastic sheet

- sponges and coral pattern
- the quasycrytalline / the penrose (aperiodic patterns).

Facade tilling study

How is it made ?

Computing : 2D then Rhino
Modelling :  stereolithographs then hand-casted in polyurethane.

"CNC’d styrofoam shapes, which are then used to cast the aluminum. they are taped so they don’t stick to the sand into which the aluminum is cast"

Negative of the mold made in aluminium

Positive of the mold with hydraulic pipes for heating and cooling the mold.

- ABS-polycarbonate plastic sheet, vacuum-formed over aluminum tools, 
- cut and coated by a robotic sprayer with layers of TiO2 and primers that adhere to the plastic substrate. 

The aluminum tools : “cast from a sand mold and then mill-finished by a five-axis CNC machine while being supported by a series of hydraulic copper tubes that heat or cool the surface to maximize performance.”

"With help from the New York office of Buro Happold, the two devised Mega Panels, a clustering system for the tiles to connect using CNC-milled plastic plates. For the 509 Mega Panels used on the hospital façade, Elegant Embellishments generated 500 distinct drawings. Each represents a unique configuration of tiles along with connection points and front and back elevations. " 

(interview from Shonquis Moreno)

How is it installed ?
1) Position the modules along the steel structure with hanging straps

2) Fix the panels to the steel structure.

They needed to train workers to install the facade. 

As the pattern is not periodical each piece is unique. Each unit needs a different fixing.

How it works ?

The sun activates the TiO2 particles of the coating. (UV> electrons of TiO2)

The coating breaks the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into water and calcium nitrate (fertilizer).

What is the maintenance needed for the facade ? 
- rain
- damp cloth 
- in-situ TiO2 sprayed (as often as outdoor paint)

What is the outcome ? 

Daily the facade eliminate the amount of NOx equivalent to 1'000 cars.

As a conclusion, Allison Dring says : “There were surprisingly few problems for such complexity.”

Drawings :

Costs :

It is "part of the 20 billion dollars investment" into the Mexico city "Health infrastructures" says  Nick Parker, CNN.

Video : 
Mexico's smog eating buildings, by Nick Parker, CNN, Jul 22, 2013

Credits : 
- Fighting a Megacity’s Pollution with Mega Panels, Elegant Embellishments’ sculptural façade system does double duty as an air-cleaning cladding, by Shonquis Moreno, March 28, 2013, <>
CCTV reportage <>