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Reactive façade for the construction business


Date                        2013

Location                 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Type                        Competition

Program                  Façade and Lobby

Project team           Santiago Miret and Federico Garrido

Having abandoned the modern premise of transparency (both material and organizational), the problem of the façade as a laminar body presents us with new expressive and material opportunities worthy of being explored. Of the various tectonic definitions Kenneth Frampton cites Edouard Sekler defining tectonics as "a certain expressivity produced by the static resistance resulting from the constructive form, such that the resulting expression could not be explained only in terms of structure and construction". Rem Koolhaas noted that it was possible to divorce the activities inside the building from the material and expressive manifestation of its façade. He called this procedure "lobotomy" understood as the dissociation between the container and the content, similar to the medical procedure.


Understanding then the redundancy of the concept of transparency, the ubiquity of environmental comfort systems and the need for expressive differentiation that certain urban typologies claim (such as office buildings or shopping malls), make the façade have other requirements, understood now as a manifestation of another material order, as a means of communication. The facade now understood as an ornament (not as decoration) speaks of these new requirements and how they are materially and expressively constituted. The facade as an ornament does not attempt to communicate (in a postmodern way) local and recognizable values, but aspires to become a material affirmation of an organization that until then remained invisible.

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