Contemporary Architecture




Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.


A facade is an exterior of the building together with all the elements on it. The facade is usually said to be one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but sometimes also the sides and rear.



  • Reduce  the summer cooling load and improve the surrounding air quality.
  • Turning the lower floors of the tower into a green façade as a cost effective way of transforming the image of the tower and increasing biodiversity.


  • Cable net facades are a true magical display of facade engineering. It uses cables in a net form and in many cases the cable can be hidden directly onto the glass panel connecting line. Cable net systems are considered by many as the most visual free construction concept in the industry.
  • The cable’s modular elasticity factor means cables will sag and tighten greatly with different temperatures of the day thus helping in regulation of temperature in the building
  • Furthermore, the massive load of the whole facade must be designed very carefully in conjunction with the structure
  • Model tests and finite element analyses were conducted to study the performance of cable net facades with glass panels under dynamic loadings.
  • The effects of the glass panels on the free vibration frequencies, damping and dynamic responses of the cable net facade were investigated using dynamic characteristics and shaking table tests. Based on the test results, a mechanism to describe the glass panels working in coordination with the cable net was proposed.
  • Under the proposed mechanism, a numerical model of the glass panels working in coordination with the cable net was established, and the corresponding analyses of the dynamic characteristics and seismic responses of the cable net facade were performed.
  • The present study shows that the bending stiffness of the glass panels has little effect on the first mode of the cable net facade, but its effect is substantial on the high modes. For the damping of the cable net facade, the glass panels play a dominant role. The seismic response of the cable net facade on most occasions is mainly reflected by the symmetric modes; the first vibration mode is dominant.


  • Flats with large windows facing south, east and west can over heat during summers due to excessive solar gains.
  • Horizontal shading devices:
  • Overhangs, light shelves and external louvres over the windows facing south.
  • designed to let direct winter gain but must protect against the summer sun.
  • Vertical shading devices:
  • Used for the windows facing eastern and western directions.
  • Overhangs -solid or opaque, and use flat or sloped designs.
  • Fixed and movable exterior louvres running horizontally or vertically across windows -reflect and diffuse sunlight.



  • Although the aesthetics and uniqueness of living walls are undoubtedly the driving force behind their current popularity, there are also many environmental benefits to green walls:
  • Reduction of thermal loading to buildings – lowers heating and cooling costs and lowers carbon emissions
  • Reduction of heat island effect – less reflected heat
  • Air purification – plants are efficient filters of pollution, especially when used indoors
  • Noise reduction – quieter buildings and streets
  • Increased urban biomass – the ecological habitat is increased even with non-native plant species


  • Living Walls Are Aesthetically Pleasing And Eco-Friendly.
  • The aesthetically pleasing nature and wow factor of living walls makes them a popular addition to any building,however green walls main benefit is environmental
  • Like so much green technology, living walls are extremely expensive to install. However, this innovation has an advantage over other eco-developments – its beauty. Unlike solar panels or wind turbines, green walls are undeniably aesthetically pleasing. The motivation for their installation is almost always to enhance the appearance of a building, with the environmental benefits often a secondary concern.


Contemporary Architecture

Jean Nouvel – The Torre Agbar

Biography: Jean Nouvel was born in 1945 in Fumel, France. He has been working as an architect since 1975, mainly in France, Germany and Japan.

  • 1972 – diploma from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts
  • 1975 – opens his first architectural studio
  • 1981 – wins competition for a series of large-scale projects proposed by President Francois Mitterrand
  • 1988 – forms a partnership with Swiss architect Emmanuel Cattani
  • 1991 – becomes vice-president of the Institut Frençais d’Architecure
  • 1993 – named Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

Design Philosophy: “ For me, architecture is a modification. A little modification of a landscape, a part of a city, a complement to other buildings, a testimony of an epoch and so on. It’s not a kind of sculpture. “

– sensitivity to context – cultural, geographical or architectural.
– more dynamic and lively architecture.

“My research is always around the idea of specificity and I don’t like to repeat the same vocabulary or to do the same architecture on every spot on the earth.”

– focus on creating something unique and exclusive to the place.

– full of simplicity, delicacy, & depth. The Torre Agbar, Barcelona, Spain: Project Details:

  • Program: 142 m highrise for the registered office of the company Aigües de Barcelona (AGBAR) + auditorium of 350 places
  • Client: Layetana Inmuebles S.L.
  • Architects: AJN and b720 (Barcelona Architectural studio)
  • Structure: Obiols/Brufau
  • Builder: Dragados/Axima/Emte
  • Architect/Lobby/Top Management: b720 advised by AJN
  • Project Management: Master Igeneria
  • General Management: Agbar Servicios Compartidos

Location: Its Key strategic position ensures easy access and proximity to the most important and emblematic places in the city The origin: Inspired by the architectural legacy of Montserrat, the Agbar Tower rises from the ground with the power and lightness of a geyser. Use of 81000 LEDs to produce 16 million colours Bioclimatic Architecture

  • Regulation of air flow
  • Use of sunlight through building’s orientation
  • Energy Efficient
  • Use of insulating, recyclable and non-contaminating materials.
  • Use of Renewable Energy sources in design.

Air Flow:

  • 8500 windows designed to achieve natural ventilation.
  • Double glazing

Materials & Energy Efficiency:

  • No material is used that contains formaldehyde, asbestos or lead.
  • Optimization of elevator routes using a computer system to avoid unnecessary consumption and ensure service for people with special needs.
  • Average solar heat gain : 25.11 %.
  • Natural Heating and Ventilation through louvers.
  • Temperature sensors on external façade.

Use of sunlight: Fritted Louvers

  • provide partial shade to the building’s surface, and
  • create a ventilation space that allows heat to rise and escape before reaching the thermal envelope behind.

A Business Tower

  • It announces the location of the new barcelona business centre like a lighthouse attracting businesses for the immediate future.
  • At the doors of the new business district 22 in Barcelona.
  • Priviledged work environment with singular prestige.

Office Spaces:

  • Column free spaces
  • Free height 2.6m
  • Encapsulated technical floor
  • 1500kg/m² load bearing steel false ceiling.
  • Embedded sprinklers and lights
  • Modular furniture
  • One kitchen per floor

Building Characteristics:

  • 28 floors : Office Use
  • 03 floors : Refugee floors
  • 01 floor   : Cafeteria
  • 01 floor   : Multipurpose Room
  • 01 floor   : Panoramic View
  • 8 Elevators +
  • 1 Service Elevator +
  • 02 floors : Auditorium + Services
  • 02 floors : Parking

Interior Design

  • The interior design is based on the energy and colour of its exterior skin

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Contemporary Architecture

KKL- Jean Nouvel

It was a quite chilly afternoon in the city of Luzern or Lucerne in Switzerland. I was on my first boat cruise on the Luzern lake enjoying the spell binding beauty of the scenic nation when this building caught my attention.  Well I was heading to the city  with no knowledge of the great names it had in store. The flat extruding roof structure and the extruding façade convinced this to be the work of a fine architect. And when the woman at the information desk told me that this museum was designed by Jean Nouvel I wasn’t that surprised.

So here is a slideshow and then a description on the building :

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Originally French architect Jean Nouvel planned to build the new concert hall in the shape of a ship going directly into the lake. For town planning and ecological reasons this idea could not be realised. Nouvel reworked the project and decided to channel the water into the building instead. “Inclusion” is the term he uses to describe his idea of bringing the outside in and taking the inside out. Jean Nouvel’s interpretation of this concept was to use water channels that lead directly into the building and a roof that projects over the lake.


The height of the widely projecting roof diminishes to only a few centimetres the closer it gets to the roof edge. Visible only as a thin edge the line of the roof appears to dissolve the mighty thrust of the steel structure. The flat aluminium panels of the underside strengthen this impression of lightness: they reflect the waves of the lake, which in turn reflects the roof of the KKL Luzern. This interplay with the idea of reflection is a conscious move by Nouvel.  The materials used for the structure change the view and impression of the building depending on the incidence of the light and the viewing angle. The water in the channels and basins underline the expression of reflection.

Building elements:

The two water channels separate the part of the building with the Concert Hall from the Lucerne Hall and the Foyer, which is in turn separated from the conferenceand museum section.
These three elements of the building are lined up side by side like ships in a dock, each with their own formal identity. They are united by the wide expanse of the projecting roof, which covers a large part of the Europaplatz below. The backbone of the entire structure is a service wing, which accesses each unit of the building.

The transparency of the building is in stark contrast to the Concert Hall, characterised by opaqueness. Jean Nouvel decided to use unusual colours for the Concert Hall section: garnet, dark green and midnight blue. In its impact this part of the building is reminiscent of the large theatres and opera houses of Europe. The Concert Hall itself is lined with wooden panels in a lustrous reddish tone. The curved shape of the outer wall bulges into the angular foyer, like the case of a string instrument. The low-level windows provide postcard-size views of the outside, focusing the eye on the splendours of the town and the surroundings of Lucerne. The corridors leading into the Concert Hall section have been kept intentionally low to magnify the impressive impact of the Concert Hall’s dimensions on entering.

The Lucerne Hall is multifunctional and sober in appearance. A cube of space offset to the rear of the hall provides space for a spacious foyer orientated towards the lake while the Hall itself has its own distinctive charisma as a black box with blue wooden flooring.

The conference and museum section facing the railway station is encased in a visual effect of expanding and contracting latticework that interprets the façade as a transparent screen, like a variation on the architectural theme of the “brise-soleil”.