imagine 01 – Facades

Ulrich Knaack, Tillmann Klein, Marcel Bilow Publisher 010 Rotterdam, 2008

The façade technology of the 20th century is related to the dissolution of the massive wall into a separation of structure and façade. Looking at the development of façade technology now, after 60 years of curtain wall systems, 30 years of element façade systems and ten years of experience with the integration of environmental services in double façades, the peak of optimization has been reached. By continuing the path of adding extra layers for each additional technical function, no further technical developments can be expected. Understanding façades – or better envelopes – as part of an integral building, we have to see that creating the future envelope has to be done on a ‘network’ basis: employing systems – but also methods of thinking – which provide the possibility to develop different aspects simultaneously and combine them, as required. The envelope has to be seen as a functional part of the entire building, serving parts of the demands by providing the needed technologies and qualities. In this regard, we actually have to withdraw from material and structure orientated thinking and construction – we have to develop the envelope as a hybrid system: materials, technologies and production processes have to be integrated in the summation and combined into an all-encompassing result. Imagine-Façades comprises various topics of strategic, material and technological developments. Aspects such as function integration, networking of elements, new structures and materials and lastly the addition of functions to existing structures will be investigated and explained in 100 or so concrete ideas.