Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Evolution of the Building Facade

The first building envelopes were caves and off course they provide some safety and security to early men.








The first building envelopes were caves and off course they provide some safety and security to early men.




Then came these type which combined wall and roof. Alas! still a lot of people live in this in many part of the world.


Then the design refined. In Asia and Africa used timber or bamboo frames clad with indegenious leafs.
This development was a breakthrough. Two dominant type of facades evolved. Timber framed and masonary walls.

Machu Picchu (1438–1472).

See the remains of  old masonary wall . This type including stone and clay baked in sun used for harsher climates.


 
Mud walls in the southern Moroccan town of Ouarzazate.


Arg e Bam, in Iran, dates back at least 2000 years and is, or rather was, one of the most amazing complete mud towns. Unfortunately, much of it was destroyed in the earthquake of 2003, which killed an estimated 26,000 people


Timber and masonary walls
Eventually the roof, wall and floor became distinct elements of the building envelope that have continued to this day with very little change in concept, use and even material. To take one element of the envelope, the wall, its basic performance requirements have remained the same from medieval times to this day: protection of the interior from the elements and security for its occupants. Our expectations have increased and we wanted to manipulate the wall to get better environment inside building.

Compared to most of today's walls the medieval or renaissance masonry wall was simple. Initially the wall was a single homogeneous material—stone or brick-exposed on the exterior and interior. Such walls are still constructed today, although the wall is more likely to be reinforced concrete or concrete block. Before long, the historic wall would become adorned: a rough structural stone would be faced on the exterior with a precisely cut and fitted facing of fine stone or marble, and the interior would be faced with smooth plaster.

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