How to Design and Create a World Class Façade
What is a Building Façade?
A façade refers to one side, usually the front, of a building. It is an integral piece to the overall design of a building. It provides the opportunity to create a personality and character to a building. Facades can come in many shapes and sizes, and it is really a chance for the architect to showcase their talent by bringing a building to life.
Although a façade is often associated with older buildings and prestigious buildings, any building can create a recognisable façade. Many listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas may have restrictions on altering their facades. This demonstrates their importance to not just the building, but to the local communities and environments.
A curtain wall is a type of façade that has no structural impact. It is a separate structure attached to the building. This is particularly common in modern architecture where the architect simply utilises a design but doesn’t bring it into the structural support of a building.
Here at NORclad, we are passionate about demonstrating how modern architecture and buildings can utilise facades to enhance building designs. A simple yet elegant façade design can suddenly change the character of a building and how it is perceived. This is the power of great design and this is something we work tirelessly at creating.
Why is a Building Façade Important?
A building façade is important because it is a chance to put the emphasis on design. Too many buildings settle for standard designs that meet structural regulations but lack any sort of character. This has a detrimental effect on the places we live in with buildings all lacking something special.
As well as being aesthetically pleasing, a building façade also plays an important role in energy efficiency as well as linking the exterior building design to the interior design. With new innovations in materials, ideas and design, a build façade can unlock a multitude of opportunities for buildings.
As we continuously demand more from the buildings we live and work in – whether that’s how energy efficient they are, or how well they sit in a certain location, building facades are a key part in this.
A building façade or curtain wall will have a big impact on the flow of air and light on a building as well as how it copes with environmental conditions. For example, this could help prevent a wind tunnel from forming or a building being vulnerable to swaying in strong wind.
Façade architecture and curtain walls can help achieve lots of different things for an architect. Here at NORclad, we have been showcasing all that’s possible with timber for building facades.
Timber cladding is a material perfect for this due to its environmental credentials, cost, installation properties and its ease of use. Timber cladding has allowed us to create facades that provide value to a building, as well as create stunning aesthetics.
We’ve found our ability to use timber to blend a building naturally into its location has been something that takes a building to the next level.
A timber façade allows an architect to create extreme detail that just isn’t possible with other materials. This creates very clean and tidy finishes to a building, that helps create a very professional and impressive overall finish. Timber cladding can be used to create patterns or illusions on a wall or used alongside rugged and rustic materials to create a beautiful contrasting appearance.
The type of timber cladding used can also play a big part in shaping the character of a building. Different species and different treatment will impact the colour and appearance of the wood. This provides opportunities to create contrasts and clever designs that utilise the natural characteristics of the timber cladding.
There aren’t any rules or processes you need to follow when designing and building a façade. It is entirely up to you and a real chance to showcase a personality to the building. Facades and curtain walls are features that both homes and commercial buildings can adopt. As more and more people are rebelling against boring design and standard building structures, building facades are likely to become an integral part of design.
Modern Façade Materials
Some of the best timber cladding materials to use to create a modern façade include Canadian Western Red Cedar, European Redwood and Siberian Larch.
Canadian Western Red Cedar
Canadian Western Red Cedar is a timber species that delivers amazing results and is unrivalled in many of its properties. Regarded highly for its durability, resistance to decay and weight, it also possesses a stunning appearance with real character and personality, ideal for creating a modern façade.
With an average density of 520 kg/m3, European Redwood is a strong and moderately hard timber specie. Although not as naturally durable as other species, it can be treated to offer a 30-year warranty against rot and fungal decay. It can also be treated to ensure its colour is consistently enriched over time.
Siberian Larch is a moderately durable softwood. Its colour can range from a light dark brown heartwood to a white sapwood but will colour down to a silver grey if not appropriately protected as soon as the façade installation is complete.
Building Façade Examples from NORclad
Check out some of our recent timber cladding projects below. These illustrate the different types of building facades you can leverage.
Workspace Barley Mow Centre – This building has created a stunning contrast between the clean timber cladding finish and 2 living walls on the other side.
Hicks Gate – This building has created a stunning contrast between the clean timber cladding finish and 2 living walls on the other side.
Gloworks – This building has created a stunning contrast between the clean timber cladding finish and 2 living walls on the other side.
Timber Façade Solutions from NORclad
If you’re interested to see how we can transform a building using timber façade solutions or want us to help plan out a new building from scratch, get in touch today and let us show you what’s possible with building facades.