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A Membrane Facade l Facade design Studio


FUTURE FACADE October 2012-November 2013


A Membrane Facade l Facade design Studio


FUTURE FACADE October 2012-November 2013

Copenhagen Concert Hall __ Jean Nouvel

A FUTURE FACADE DESIGN COURSE Project: Facade Design for a global sports

clothing supplier Studio Coordinator: Arie Bergsma

Tutor: Tillmann Klein Aim of this design was the development of a façade concept for a global clothing supplier and the design of analytical drawings of specific details of the building and its façade. BUILDING REQUIREMENTS The design was about a two storey building, at an unknown location. The functions of the building were offices for a sports clothing company and a workshop area where the raw materials (textiles) are collected and the cloths are manufactured. As these two functions have completely different requirements in terms of climate comfort, they are located on different floors. The ground floor hosts the workshop area, for which accessibility is a key factor. The goal of this part of the design was the development of a completely transparent façade with unobstructed view from the outside of the building to the inside and vise versa. Good ventilation, natural lighting and a low-performance heating system were considered necessary. The first floor hosts the offices of the company. In this case a more protected area in terms of climate was designed. A buffer zone that covers the first floor was designed in order to provide an extra layer of thermal insulation, sound proofing and sun protection. Glare was also avoided and a certain amount of privacy for the employees was achieved. The adaptability aspect of the facade was also considered, since the final design allows each user to adjust the level of sun protection / privacy or natural light entering the building.

OFFICE AREA thermal comfort privacy sunprotection rain protection noise protection adaptability

WORKSHOP AREA ventilation needs open to the public unobstructed view product’s display accessibility


EXTERNAL LAYER: Shade Privacy Noise protection Rain screnn Wind break Signage

INTERNAL LAYER Waterproof Insulation Air tightness Ventilation Facade functions

FACADE CONCEPT The concept of the façade is based on the principle of layered clothing according to which different layers of clothing which perform different functions are applied one on top of the other in order to obtain the needs of each individual user. The same functions that can be found in an outdoor and sportswear clothing, such as wind protection, water protection, cold and warmth protection, insulation, climate barrier, or dirt protection can also comprise the main functions needed in a façade. The ground floor façade consists of only the inner layer of the building’s double skin façade. The first floor façade consists of both the inner double glazing layer and an outer membrane layer. The inner layer serves the same functions that are mentioned above, while the intermediate area between the two layers acts as a buffer zone that improves the thermal performance of the offices’ area. The outer layer consists of moveable sunshade elements that can be rolled in or out. When rolled out, they create a layer that acts as a sunshade protection, noise protection, rain screen and wind break. The fact that they can be individually adjusted gives the freedom to the users of the building to choose the conditions of their working environment. Moreover, these moveable sunshades can create interesting patterns on the outside view of the façade. This can be used as a signage for the advertisement of the products of the sports clothing company, as it can be clearly seen for a great distance.

Sports clothing functions

TEXTILE & MEMBRANE FACADES Textile and membrane facades as a solution for a broad range of applications can offer a multitude of benefits. These positive factors directly impact a building’s operating cost and level of sustainability as well as improve occupant comfort and well-being.

triangular shaped frame wire rope monorail trolley mechanism connections of the membrane

The main benefits of this kind of facades are energy efficiency, natural ventilation, natural lighting, aesthetics, marketing communications, sun shading and transparency/translucency.

THE MOVING PRINCIPLE The moving principle of this façade is based on a pulley monorail trolley mechanism. The elements that comprise the external layer of the façade are membrane elements/roller blinds that can move up or down on cable guides. A single motor adjusts the movement of the cable guide on which the membrane is attached. The movement of the cable forces also the membrane to move.

ETFE membrane

A facade element scheme

The element consists of an aluminum frame inside which the mechanism for the roller blind is hidden, a monorail trolley mechanism and ETFE membrane layers. The membrane when pushed down is folded in a cylindrical bar. While the membrane is folded up, it can be stabilized in several positions, creating this way some different shapes on the outer shell of the building. An extra shutter has been added to the horizontal frames of the element when they host the folding mechanism, so that it can keep the water, dirt and other objects away from the inside of the frame when the membrane is folded up.

Facade drawing RWE tower, Christoph Ingenhoven

THE NEW FACADE DESIGN THE ELEMENT’S MATERIAL The material used for the infill of the aluminum frames is a transparent ETFE membrane. This transparent of ETFE film has silver patterns (dots or squares) printed with special ink (to reduce fading), specially designed to control light and heat transmission. The pattern’s density varies according to the desirable amount of transparency. Thus, there are membranes

Vertical section of the moving mechanism // folded up and down

with 30%, 60 and 80% transparency. Silkscreen printed, ETFE cushions have improved insulation properties. Indeed light and heat inside the structure can be adjusted by a set of positive / negative printing. For a better regulation of light permeability, the foil can be also supplied in a white color.

External facade layer _ 3D render


200x500mm hollow steel channel column 280mm hollow core floorslabwith concrete core activation 80mm top floor concrete core activation pipes

70mm insulation 100x360mm L shape steel profile, galvanized 170x400mm U shape steel channel, galvanized

20mm orsogril grating 10mm steel connection of the two facade layers

triangular shaped frame wire rope monorail trolley mechanism connections of the membrane ETFE membrane support system of the outer layer to the loadbearing structure cover plate of the outer layer’s connection

3 dimensional detail of the facade element

Front view


Vertical section

Facade section details

FutureFacade project  
FutureFacade project