Building Skins Compilation

Most of the time, it is skins which establish the look of the building. Today there are various building skin technologies; made of light-weight, or reclaimed, or dynamic, or previously used but now technologically advanced materials.

Here is a selection of interesting building skins:


Eden Project near St Austell

Architects: Nicholas Grimshaw& Partners, London

– Structural spans of up to 124 metres

– The covering consists of light ETFE cushions, which are inflated by compressors

– The overall weight of the construction is less than that o the air it encloses


Water Block House Fragments

Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates

– The blocks only take on their full form when they are filled with water on the site of their installation

– Left unfilled, the blocks are hollow plastic shells that can be vacuum packed flat for economic shipping

– The water provides natural insulation to the interior


Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham

Architects: Future Systems, London

– Bright blue facade covered with polished aluminum discs which seems to float on the surface

– Discs change their appearance according to time of day and weather conditions

– The walls are a cost-effective solution of sprayed-concrete facade, insulated on the outside and then finished with a coat of coloured synthetic sealant


Allianz Arena in Munich

Architects: Herzog& de Meuron, Basel

– When a match is on, the entire synthetic skin of the stadium lights up in red or blue, depending on which of the two home teams is playing

– White light remains the option for games where no local teams are involved

– The 65,000m2 skin is made up of 2,874 individual ETFE cushions, each one matched by only one other of identical geometry


A Summer Space

Architects: Johl, Jozwiak, Ruppel, Berlin

– On a circular plan, the bottles are stacked into a cone

– To protect the interior from wind and rain and to ensure structural stability, a transparent scaffolding film was integrated and attached between bottle head and screw-top

– Three thousand bottles were linked via the transparent film


Galleria Hall West

Architects: UN Studio/ Van Berkel + Bos, South Korea

– Total of 4330 glass discs hung from a metal substructure that is directly mounted on the existing concrete cladding of the department store

– At night, a special lighting scheme illuminates the discs by reflecting the dynamics of the weather conditions hat happened during the day

– The façade solution also has the potential to be adapted for special occasions and can be changed over time according to seasons, fashion events and artistic inspirations


Illa Fleming

Architects: Jaume Back& Gabriel Mora

– East, South and West facades have a double skin consisting of red stucco divided by vertical openings from floor to ceiling in the interior, and an outer skin separated by 60 cm from the inner one, consisting of panels of wooden slats that can be moved freely according to the needs of the occupants

– These mobile panels provide an exterior space around all the dwellings that extends the interior space visually

– The terrace of the living room can be understood as an interior or an exterior according to the position of the panels

* Images taken from 

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