All the elements of a design come together to create truly remarkable buildings. Novum Structures provides system solutions to your design intent while providing an accurate budget for the engineering, fabrication, and installation bringing an architect’s vision to life.
If you’re looking to incorporate a facade into your next building design, let this guide act as a starting point.
Background: What is Involved in Facade Design?
The elements that make up a facade can vary depending on the architectural style and the building’s purpose. However, here are some common elements to be considered during the facade design process:
Materials: The choice of materials used for the facade can significantly impact the aesthetic and function of the building. Materials commonly used in facade construction include glass, concrete, steel, brick, stone, wood, and aluminum.
Scale and proportion: The scale and proportion of the facade elements can create a sense of balance and harmony. These factors can be used to control the visual impact of the building and create a sense of unity.
Pattern and rhythm: The repetition of pattern and rhythm can create a sense of movement and interest in the facade design.
Ornamentation: Ornamentation can be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the facade.
These elements can be combined and manipulated to create a facade that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Next, we’ll explore some successful facade designs from around the world, where Novum Structures assisted the architect to bring their vision to life.
Impactful Facade Designs
- The Star Spangled Banner Flag House Facade: In short, this facade screams boldness. 2,000sq feet of clean lines reveal a stunning American flag design. An expansive glass flag façade that replicates Mary Young Pickersgill’s star spangled banner welcomes visitors to the museum built in her honor. To prevent the structure detracting from the flag design, clear laminated glass fins were used as structural support for the façade. The glass support system is braced laterally by steel truss support towers at the flag perimeter. To duplicate the colors of the flag within the glazing, Novum sourced an international network to find a glass fabricator who could provide the precise red, white and blue frit.
- When it comes to enormity, there is none quite like the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center facade, with steel and glass engineered, fabricated, and installed by Novum Structures. Allowing light from the Rocky Mountain skyline to stream in through the massive glass wall, the facade invites visitors to the grand hotel to take in the sweeping mountain views. The stunning façade elegantly utilizes Architecturally Exposed Steel, Tension Rod and Point Supported Glass Systems providing incredible transparency to both the interior and exterior of the building.
- A highly unique, functional, and stunning facade example is the OVO Hydro Facade in Glasgow, Scotland. This postmodern facade design often incorporates elements of historical styles, combined with contemporary materials and technology, resulting in a playful and eclectic design. In the daytime, the glass appears as a silvery, nearly space-like color. When the sun sets, the facade illuminates in bold purple, making the building stand out across the city. Novum was responsible for the engineering, fabrication, and installation of the ETFE air filled pillow façade. From an early stage, Novum engineers worked closely with the architects, Foster + Partners, to create an ETFE screen print that offered effective daylight illumination to the foyer while controlling solar gain and ensuring visibility of projected images at night. Novum used proprietary software to map the ETFE print pattern. This ensured that over the total of 14,360m2 ETFE foil used on the façade as a combination of 2- and 3-layer pillows, that every dot lined up on the welds and seams, generating a continuous pattern without breaks.
- As the name suggests, a facade can be used to showcase selected elements to its passersby. In this case, the brilliant PXL Gallery at Transit City gracefully conceals a 220 space, 6 floor parking structure. What really makes the PXL Gallery unique is that it is constructed with a massive LED light display. The wall lights up in brilliant color to display differing artwork. Novum engineered, fabricated, and installed the glazed screen wall that is straight in plan and rectangular in elevation to serve as a permanent Digital Art Wall for the parking structure at the Transit City Towers in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. The facade is suspended from the Level 7 slab which keeps the entire system in tension to avoid any need for lateral compression bracing. The LED PXL Gallery displays curated artwork from acclaimed artists around the country and serves as a landmark for the public to enjoy all year round.
- Eighth Avenue Place in Alberta, Canada is an inclined atrium that appears to distort the angles of the building, while helping anchor it firmly in place. It was constructed using Glass to Glass, Architecturally Exposed Steel and Point Supported Glass Systems to create a stunning, transparent display of the surrounding landscape and buildings. The inclined atrium walls of this modern complex in Calgary features inclined glass fin facades laterally braced by exposed steel trusses. The Novum Glass to Glass System was selected. The cladding glass is held by a discreet profile bended to the face of the fin. Fins are triple laminated for strength and to provide redundancy. The horizontal glass points are simple silicon gaskets which are wet sealed.
- Facades often take on a bold appearance due to their typically large surface area. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis however, also showcases a distinctly soft piece with its Chihuly Sculpture Platform. Some may categorize this platform as an Art Deco Facade. Often, art deco design style is characterized by geometric shapes, bold colors, and stylized ornamentation. This platform offers a collision of strong, structurally sound design with gentle and petite windows which complement the dainty and ornate structure of Chihuly’s work. The stunning glass floor allows for people walking below the sculpture to get full visibility of all of its components. “Fireworks of Glass” is the largest permanent sculpture of blown glass by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The 43′ (13m) tower of glass rises above a glass platform ceiling furnished and installed by Novum. The bottom and sides of the platform are point supported glass. The top of the platform is walkway supported glass. The glass floor is supported by a grid of secondary hollow steel sections.
- A facade can be an impactful way to entice people to look inside a building. When the glass offers full transparency, it can even blur the lines between what is inside and outside of the building. Novum Structures assisted with a lobby renovation to develop a facade to surround the lobby space at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in a way that promoted optimal visibility into the gorgeous interior of the building. Point supported glass and aluminum supported glass help create clean, crisp lines at the glass joints. The objective was to enclose the lobby by developing glass walls to fit the existing building while maintaining optimum transparency. Point supported glass walls slide vertically at the base to accommodate building deflections. A reflective coating on the innermost pieces of glass in each bay creates a striking window frame, within a window frame, while achieving energy efficiency through solar control. The result? A sleek lobby that allows for ample light, and a pleasant atmosphere.
- We’ll finish this post by highlighting the uniquely stunning facade built for the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House in Tennessee. The facade serves a simple yet powerful purpose, to encapsulate the items into one room, while allowing for the space to continue to feel open. The glass box is intended to be an invisible barrier in the center of the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House to create a special room where visitors can enjoy tastings of whiskey amid the barrels that created the whiskey they were sampling. Originally conceived as a cable façade, it soon became apparent that the historic building would not be able to take the required pretension of the cables. Novum then proposed a solution of suspended steel fins that would require no pretension yet be small enough to disappear into the surroundings. The fins were treated with a clear finish to protect them from corrosion while creating a raw, unfinished look that blended in with the rustic surroundings. These fins support crystal clear low-iron glass with open glass joints. Novum’s CCG-System was chosen because it provides maximum transparency, and the finish could be customized to match the aesthetic of the barrel house.
These are just a few examples of ways to incorporate facades into your designs. With a world of possibilities, Novum Structures’ experts can help bring your vision to life, contact us today.