They delimit, prepare and preserve the architectural spaces, they contribute to the privacy, security and comfort for its inhabitants, but as well they represent the materialization of many urban elements. These construction elements are intrinsic parts of the facades and, in many cases, they become identified with them. They represent different conceptual models acting as a source of information for visitors, explicitly or implicitly the code that the city understands innately is written on them, as landscape elements, as fortresses, or as functional or industrial elements for example.
Overlooking the representative value of a facade, the enclosures and exterior skins are the elements that technically separates us from each other, introducing bioclimatic concepts and operating as an intelligent facing that minimizes energy consumption by using passive and dynamic strategies.
As a piece of work that inspires and surprises us in this respect we would like to highlight Bois le Prêtre Tower refurbishment carried out in Paris by Lacaton & Vassal and the architect Frederic Druot. With it, they accomplished an alternative approach to the remodelling of post-war homes, by meeting widely the current requirements including the minimization of the consumed energy in exchange of a more affordable price than the one of the demolition and building construction.
Originally designed by Raymond Lopez, this construction achieved after its refurbishment increasing the size of its rooms and the creation of new balconies; the corrugated aluminium facade which is also a innovation, is now intertwined with large windows, glazed terraces and separating them crystals from the ceiling to the floor allowing natural light to come inside; Added to this is the installation of the conservatories, which act as insulating components, as a way to keep the room cool in the summer and also increase the feeling that it is a pleasure to live in them.
With all this sort of exterior enclosures, energy consumption has been reduced passively in more than a 50% and everything thanks to the realization of minimal intervention in the original structure.
Another improvement to consider is that the visual impact generated in the Parisian landscape by the tower, formerly known as “Alcatraz”, has been softened.
Without any intention of comparing ourselves with Master as Lacaton & Vassal, we have developed various projects in which the vertical and horizontal enclosures were an essential part of the conceptual development. Some examples that you can see on our website are our proposal to GDIS, “La Ascensión del Señor” church, Ali Mohammed T. Al Ghanim Clinic, Gunni & Trentino Hub or Seed House.