Serge Ferrari

5 iconic facades defined by the Frontside View 381 membrane

Flexible, weatherproof and customisable: the composite material produced by Serge Ferrari wraps five contemporary architectures.

Since 1972, the publication year of the famous Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, elevations have become one of the most important elements in architecture. Facades are no longer functional elements used to protect the interior but become autonomously significant components. They are mediating elements between public and private, also defining our urban landscapes and conditioning our gaze.

To meet the increasingly complex and ambitious design conditions and technical requirements, planners, engineers, technicians and companies are constantly looking for new architectural solutions for cutting-edge facades. These are the key to many design themes: colour, shape and consistency are important aesthetic criteria, while the materials used must necessarily meet the objectives of sun protection, thermal regulation, correct brightness and visibility in interiors and exteriors.

Serge Ferrari offers flexible, sustainable and high-performance composite materials that have often been used to define the facades of innovative and iconic buildings. In particular, we present here five projects that use the composite membrane Frontside View 381.

Adaptable to different design needs and uses - residential buildings, hospitals, schools, car parks, public or mixed-use buildings - Frontside View 381 is a flexible envelope that benefits from the Précontraint by Serge Ferrari exclusive and globally patented technology. Among the characteristics of the material emerge the possibility of printing and customization, its durability and resistance to climatic agents, robustness and dimensional stability in the long term, protection from heat and excessive light, flatness, lightness and recyclability.

Cut into small rhomboidal parts, the composite membrane resembles fish scales

The facade of Y The Boutique Hotel in Mysore, India, resembles the scaly skin of fish. ACE Group has chosen to cut the Frontside View 381 membrane into small parts, which are supported by metal frames. The material contributes to the excellent internal temperature regulation and resists well to the temperature ranges of a region characterized by dry winters and very humid summers, with monsoon rainfall.

The parking lot at Rice University in Houston, designed by Kieran Timberlake Architects, integrates perfectly into the natural environment, thanks to a personalised print of the coating membrane: a pattern that reproduces the foliage of the nearby forest using a special UV ink printing process that does not fade. A metal structure supports the trapezoidal panels, the curve of which gives the building a sculptural form.

The membrane can become transparent at night and, together with adequate lighting, enhance the history of a historical building

The facade of the Pavillon Multisport turns it into a new icon for the city of Luanda, Angola, the first African country to host the Ice Hockey World Cup in 2013. The facade is formed by a series of panels that, depending on the angle of view, look like a single entity or separate elements. The LED lighting combined with the flexibility of the material makes the building fascinating day and night, with iridescent shades.

The Manthel Motors Building in Wellington has two important historic facades: one dated 1880 and the other dated 1914. The structure has recently been renovated and adapted to the new building regulations. New Zealand-based Arrow International maintained the existing facades and applied a second skin to them using the semi-transparent Frontside View 381 membrane. The mesh material appears almost opaque at times with more natural light, but in the evening it lets you glimpse the façade behind and tells the story of the building.

Combined with LED lights, the semi-transparent Frontside View membrane transforms a building into one of the icons of contemporary Angola
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