Cinthia Buchheister; Europe Press Office, Berlin
Continuously increasing requirements for energy efficiency are leading to a growing percentage of opaque, highly insulated façade areas in the building envelope. The façade system of the recently completed Futurium in Berlin demonstrates how opaque, ventilated rainscreens can be seamlessly integrated in a fully glazed curtain walling system.
Together with Arup and in cooperation with the industry the Berlin based architects Richter Musikowski developed an innovative, modular façade system consisting of prefabricated cassettes combining translucent textured glass on the front with a folded metal reflector on the back.
The optical interplay of reflective, translucent and transparent surfaces results in a smooth and shimmering skin transforming continuously over the course of the day depending on the lighting conditions and viewing angle.
The variability of the system allows to combine several functions: Vision glazing and a ventilated rain-screen on the vertical as well as inclined and horizontal façade areas with the seamless integration of openings. Both strengthens the uniform appearance and sculptural quality of the building.
No visible fixings
The production volume of more than 7,500 units allowed the complete prefabrication and configuration of the diamond-shaped cassettes in the factory. Each cassette measures 700mm x 700mm and is composed of partially screen-printed textured glass on the outside structurally bonded to a folded metal tray from brushed stainless steel on the back.
For the first time in a project of this size in Germany, building authorities approved a structural sealant glazing (SSG) system without mechanical restraints.
Extensive testing by the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung (Federal Institute of Materials Research & Testing) demonstrated the performance and durability of the structural silicone bonding under the combined influence of mechanical and climatic stresses.
The Futurium – formerly known as “House of the Future” – represents a new public platform for exhibitions and events on topics concerning the changing shape of life.
Future scenarios will be presented, that will highlight the impact of research and innovation. The Futurium will also provide a forum for dialogue on the future, in which not only scientists, business leaders and politicians but also citizens can actively participate.
The initiator of the project is the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Partners involved from Science and Industry include the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as well as the corporations of Siemens and Bayer.
“The prefabricated cassettes allow an unprecedented design flexibility and versatile customisation for rainscreen systems. Only a few well designed and reusable components are needed. The design of the modular cassette is a product development in its own right based on the principles of the circular economy. ”
Jan WurmLeader Research & Innovation Europe at Arup.