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Monday, June 19, 2017

The façade story

By Annie Agarwal
Photography: Courtesy the architect
Read Time: 3 mins 

"be open paris building skin brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
'Be open', Paris                                                                                                         ©Stefan Tuchila & ©Sergio Grazia

Three buildings, one typology, each faced with a distinct context. Here’s a look at three commercial buildings by Brenac & Gonzalez & Associes, the façade of each unique and aptly contextual…

Each building is adorned by a façade as intriguing as the next. Taking them one at a time:

"be open paris close look brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
'Be open', Paris                                                                                                     ©Stefan Tuchila
"be open paris building facade brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
'Be open', Paris - facade detail                                                                                                        ©Stefan Tuchila  

An urban poetry of city arteries, railway lines and catenaries forms the backdrop for Be Open on city block A11, Paris.  A stand-alone building, the building’s skin impresses upon passers-by and passengers on the train, a limitless profile, ever changing with the light and weather.
"be open paris left profile brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
'Be open', Paris                                                                                                                                   ©Stefan Tuchila  

Three volumetric masses – the commercial spaces, a setback main section and a slightly overhanging attic, rotated and folded, are stacked to create the entire mass of Be Open. All are cladded, a symphony of white enameled aluminum tubes, which highlight the curves and the arabesques of the assembled modules, also giving the building an evanescent character. The envelope becomes a surface of exchanges inspired from the exchanges amongst people and their flow, and protects the body.

"gentily building skin brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
Riverside - facade detail                                                                                 ©Sergio Grazia & ©Stefan Tuchila
"gentily green side brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
Riverside - two-toned building                                                       ©Stefan Tuchila & ©Sergio Grazia

Riverside is a skillful merger of a commercial landmark and a domestic-feel facade. Faced with contrasting settings, the ring road to the north and heart of the district to the south, the volume of the office building links the different scales; the smooth transition enhanced by differing treatment of the facades. Uniform textures of a prism façade of modules of anodized aluminum and bright-annealed stainless-steel frames, which mask wooden window frames on the ring road side, give the impression of a large scale, shimmering urban landmark. The powerful identity is further accentuated by the lobby at the building’s corner. In contrast, the south-side façade is a series of wood frames and coloured solid areas, further enhanced by superimposed balconies equipped with green trellises.
"quai quest brenac gonzalez associes indiaartndesign"
Quai Quest Building – Boulogne                                                                                              ©Stefan Tuchila

"quai quest facade detail brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
Facade detail - Quai Quest  Building – Boulogne                                                                                                  ©Stefan Tuchila

The renovation of the Quai Quest building, located in Boulogne-Billancourt, saw major restructuring to create a recognizable identity in the changing urban landscape and also to improve its environmental performance. Taking advantage of the site’s potential and overcoming the issues of noise, absence of sun breaks and an outmoded architectural image, the new façade system is based on a ventilated double skin of glass on the interior upon which sun-breaks are affixed. A prismatic covering takes advantage of the proximity to the river. With glass panels folded diagonally to reflect the sky and the changing cityscape, the facade plays on the perception, scale, accumulation and transparence, giving a dynamic second life to the edifice.
"quai quest interiors brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
Interiors of  Quai Quest Building                                                                                            ©Sergio Grazia 

In each of the projects, environmental efficiency takes precedence. A system of windows offering abundant natural light, and operable frames ensuring natural ventilation ensure low energy consumption. Sun breaks and retractable metal blinds for sun-exposed facades improve building performance.
"gentily brenac gonzalez associates indiaartndesign"
Riverside Building, Gentily                                                                                                                       ©Stefan Tuchila 

Brenac & Gonzalez & Associes successfully achieve impressive urban landmarks, dynamic and intriguing in form to fit the most varied contexts.

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