Building Envelopes

For the restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), David Chipperfield Architects Berlin faced the challenge of preserving as much as possible of Mies van der Rohe’s original iconic structure from the 1960s, while adapting its slender steel and glass facade to today’s technical requirements. This difficult undertaking was achieved through in-depth research and meticulously developed details. The building, located at the Kulturforum complex in Berlin, is expected to reopen in summer 2021. In our technology feature, Julia Liese explains the details of the renovation. Our October issue dedicated to building envelopes takes you to projects across Europe, from Berlin to Marseille and from Antwerp to Vorarlberg. 3XN’s new office building in Berlin reflects its surroundings at the central train station like a kaleidoscope. Angled glass triangles enclose the solitary cube and allow for natural ventilation between the double-skin facade. For the L’Arbre Blanc residential tower in Marseille, the architects modelled their design on the shape of a tree. The striking building features airy balconies that fan out like leaves, providing necessary shade as they cantilever up to 7 m from the white trapezoidal sheet metal facade. Each apartment unit has a balcony; in the maisonettes, they are connected by outdoor stairs to form an outdoor double deck. Shade is also a key function of the facade in Höchst on Lake Constance. The homogeneous outer skin of the pavilion-like workshop/ showroom consists of silver fir slats that filter daylight and, together with the continuous wooden canopy, protect the interior from direct sunlight.

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