Facade in World's Building

Today, world has thousands of high rise building in just only in view decades.  Even skyscrapers are built to become unique town's signature, in many cities. Constructing a unique landmark buildings are more about manifesting the art and ideas, and then finally followed by its financial source, energy efficiency, function, etc.  Now let's have look for several well-known high rise building men has ever constructed, using modern curtain wall system or facade


Leo Building, Germany

Leo Building, Germany

The MFree-S is a closed double skin facade which has been installed at the LEO building for the first time in Germany; besides, for the first time on a world-wide scale, it has been equipped with parallel opening windows to allow for natural aeration. Bright glass fiber reinforced concrete units shaping the external cladding provide a contrast to the dark aluminum profiles of the window frames. This facade design elegantly combines the new construction and the preexisting building and creates a homogeneous appearance of the whole complex.

During the overall refurbishment and modernization of the building which had been constructed in 1986, the Frankfurt-located architects Schneider+Schumacher have connected the two preexisting opposing 17-stores and 9-stores wings by means of a 67 meter high diagonal building. Thus, a U-shaped complex has been created enlarging the building by approx. 15,000 sqm to a total of approx. 47,000 sqm. The window openings in the preexisting buildings have been enlarged to allow more daylight to enter the office rooms. After renovation, final energy demand for heating and cooling declined by 60 percent to approx. 90 kWh/m2a and primary energy demand for heating was reduced by 70 percent to 28 kWh/m2a.

The decisive technical innovation of MFree-S is the fully closed cavity of the facade which improves transparency as well as heat, sun and noise protection. The highly transparent low iron glasses used do not require any dark or reflective coatings for sun protection. The 94 mm facade cavity contains highly efficient sun protection systems with sensitive control and light control. Since the facade cavity is hermetically sealed, neither the inside of the glazing nor the surfaces of the solar control louvres can become soiled. Therefore, compared to the standard double-skin façades, there is no more need to clean the facade cavities. Exterior glazing of the MFree-S used on LEO building consists of 6 mm impact pane while inside double glazing is used achieving an Ucw value of 1,0 W/m2K and a g value of 0.1 including sun protection. A constant flow of dry and clean air flows into the closed cavity units in order to avoid condensation. During variations in temperature the dehumidified air prevents condensation on the external pane.


De Rotterdam

De Rotterdam

De Rotterdam, designed by OMA, is in fact conceived as a vertical city: accommodating offices, apartments, a 4-stars hotel, conference facilities, shops, restaurants and cafes. The towers, part of the ongoing redevelopment of the old harbor district of Wilhelminapier, next to the Erasmus Bridge, reach 150m high, with a gross floor area of approximately 162,000 sqm, making De Rotterdam the largest building in the Netherlands. OMA's architectural concept produces more than sheer size: urban density and diversity - both in the program and the form - are the guiding principles of the project. De Rotterdam's stacked towers are arranged in a subtly irregular cluster that refuses to resolve into a singular form and produces intriguing new views from different perspectives. Similarly, the definition of the building changes according to its multiple uses internally.

For De Rotterdam 5 different types of facade element with glass/aluminum and a tube/fin have been engineered and produced; in particular, for the coverage of the Offices a unitized curtain wall of 1800x3400 mm with outward opening windows, for the Hotel a facade module of 1800x3000 mm with a spandrel at floor edge and for “slot” between the towers a 1800x3400mm with continuous glass pane without fins.

 A fire-resistant structure, for the Plinth at parking garage, and a glassy curtain wall of 1800x3500/4000mm for the podium complete the project. The various programs of this urban complex are organized into distinct blocks, providing both clarity and synergy: residents and office workers alike can use the public facilities like fitness, restaurants, and conference rooms of the hotel. And the private users of the building have contact with the general public on the ground floor, with its waterfront cafes. The lobbies for the offices, hotel, and apartments are located in the plinth - a long elevated hall that serves as a general traffic hub for De Rotterdam's wide variety of users.


New Whitney Museum, NYC

New Whitney Museum, NYC

The new Whitney Museum is located between Gansevoort and Washington Street, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano (Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects in collaboration with Cooper Robertson). The history of the museum carries an important inheritance. It was founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in Greenwich Village, then moved in 1966 to the Marcel-Breuer designed building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street.

The new building is a very ambitious project, both for its cultural significance and for the dimensions and the shape of its structure. The building, 87 m long, 38 m wide and 53 m high, has a very complex form that has required the extensive use of the 3D modeling as the facades are inclined at different angles towards the inside and the outside. The Facade contractor has dealt with many challenges to complete the 10,000 sqm of facade area, due to the variety of facade types and to the dimensions and the shape of the panels that were designed, produced and installed on the project.

The process that has led to the design and construction of glasses covering the Well also was very complicated: all heat bent glasses have different levels of curvature. The 4 panels located in the lower area, near the end of the cone, are characterized by a radius of curvature of 500 mm, which is typical of airplanes’ cockpits but certainly not for architectural glasses of 4.5 meters of height used for the project. Finally, the entire Crystal is coated with self-heating glasses, whose system operates in the case of snow accumulation, and is supported by a 650 tonnes steel structure.


The 6,500 sqm main facade consists of a double skin made of aluminum units (1m wide and up to 11 m long) covered by 8 mm thick and extra-long steel sheets suspended on the front (weight up to 2.5 tons and length up to 21 m) that go over several stories giving the building a gray monolith aspect that perfectly fits with the industrial character of the Meatpacking District.

On the North and East elevations of the museum glazed facades were installed to enable natural lighting to feed the interiors; the stick system facade uses high performing double glazed glasses combined with sun shading systems.

The new Whitney Museum is an eight-story building, for an overall exhibition space of 5,800 sqm, of which 4,600 sqm are of indoor galleries and 1,200 of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms, two theaters and various amenities offered to the public, including a 6,000 sqm hall, a restaurant, a cafè, retail spaces and offices, will contribute to create the new cultural core of the Big Apple.



Burj Al Arab was designed by multidisciplinary consultancy Atkins, led by architect Tom Wright, who has since become co-founder of WKK Architects. The design and construction were managed by Canadian engineer Rick Gregory also of WS Atkins. Construction of the Island began in 1994 and involved up to 2,000 construction workers during peak construction. It was built to resemble the billowing spinnaker sail of a J-class yacht.Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. The architect Tom Wright said "The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai; this is very similar to Sydney with its Opera House, London with Big Ben, or Paris with the Eiffel Tower. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country.


Fletcher Construction from New Zealand was the lead joint venture partner in the initial stages of pre-construction and construction.  The hotel was built by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts and Al Habtoor Engineering.  The building opened in December 1999.


Curtain-wall system is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep the weather out and the occupants in. As the curtain wall is non-structural it can be made of a lightweight material, reducing construction costs. 

Lever House Building

Lever House Building

Using glass as the curtain wall, has a great advantage is that natural light can penetrate deeper within the building. The curtain wall facade does not carry any deadload-weight from the building other than its own dead load weight. The wall transfers horizontal wind loads that are incident upon it to the main building structure through connections at floors or columns of the building.

A curtain-wall is designed to resist air and water infiltration, sway induced by wind and seismic forces acting on the building, and its own dead load weight forces. Curtain-wall systems are typically designed with extruded fabricated aluminum members, although the first curtain walls were made of steel. The aluminum frame is typically infilled with glass, which provides an architecturally pleasing building, as well as benefits such as daylighting. However, parameters related to solar gain control such as thermal comfort and visual comfort are more difficult to control when using highly glazed curtain walls.

Other common infills include: stone veneer, metal panels, louvres, and operable windows or vents. Curtain walls differ from store-front systems in that they are designed to span multiple floors, and take into consideration design requirements such as: thermal expansion and contraction; building sway and movement; water diversion; and thermal efficiency for cost-effective heating, cooling, and lighting in the building.

Early prototype versions of curtain walls may have existed in buildings of timber construction before the nineteenth century, should columns have been used to support the building rather than the walls themselves, particularly when large panels of glass infill were involved. When iron began to be used extensively in buildings in late 18th-century Britain such as at Ditherington Flax Mill, and later when buildings of wrought iron and glass such as The Crystal Palace were built, the building blocks of structural understanding were laid for the development of curtain walls. 

Hallidie Building, San Fransisco

Hallidie Building, San Fransisco

The first curtain wall installed in New York City, in the Lever House building (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, 1952), was this type of construction. Earlier modernist examples are the Bauhaus in Dessau (1926) and the Hallidie Building in San Francisco(1918). During the 1970s began the widespread use of aluminum extrusions for mullions. Fabricated aluminum offers the unique advantage of being able to be easily extruded into nearly any shape required for design and aesthetic purposes.

Today, the design complexity and shapes available are nearly limitless. Custom shapes can be designed and manufactured with relative ease. The Omni San Diego Hotel curtain wall in California (developed by JMI Realty, designed by architectural firm Hornberger and Worstell, and constructed by AGA), is an example of a unitized curtain-wall system with integrated sunshades

PT Trimatra Tatagraha as a facade contractor, is an expert in fabricated aluminum and glass curtain-wall solution for high rise building who has years of experiences of designing and retrofitting such material in many buildings in Indonesia. Some of our Porto-folios are : 


PARAGON, Semarang


Material Specialisation :

1. Glass

By far the most common glazing type glass can be of an almost infinite combination of color, thickness, and opacity. For commercial construction, the two most common thicknesses are 1/3 inch (8 mm) monolithic and 1 inch (25 mm) insulating glass. Presently, 1/3 inch glass is typically used only in spandrel areas, while insulating glass is used for the rest of the building (sometimes spandrel glass is specified as insulating glass as well). The 1 inch insulation glass is typically made up of two 1/3 inch and 1/4 inch inner lite of glass with a 1/2 inch (12 mm) airspace. The air inside is usually atmospheric air, but some insert gases, such as argon or krypton may be used to offer better thermal transmittance values.

Glass may be used which is transparent, translucent, or opaque, or in varying degrees thereof. Transparent glass usually refers to vision glass in a curtain wall. Spandrel or vision glass may also contain translucent glass, which could be for security or aesthetic purposes. Opaque glass is used in areas to hide a column or spandrel beam or shear wall behind the curtain wall. Another method of hiding spandrel areas is through shadow box construction (providing a dark enclosed space behind the transparent or translucent glass). Shadow box construction creates a perception of depth behind the glass that is sometimes desired.

2. Panels

Metal panels can take various forms including fabricated aluminum plate; aluminum composite panels consisting of two thin aluminum sheets sandwiching a thin plastic interlayer;copper wall cladding, and panels consisting of metal sheets bonded to rigid insulation, with or without an inner metal sheet to create a sandwich panel. Other opaque panel materials include fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP), stainless steel, and terracotta. Terracotta curtain wall panels were first used in Europe, but only a few manufacturers produce high quality modern terracotta curtain wall panels.