Campus Simons. Image © Stéphan Poulin
Blending in with its urban context or standing out to draw attention, a façade tells a building’s story. It is an expressive medium through which we engage with architecture, defining first impressions and setting the tone for the interior by experimenting with transparency, movement, texture and color, among other aesthetic possibilities. Of course, the envelope also plays a crucial functional role, acting as a protective barrier against extreme weather conditions and directly impacting light transmittance, energy efficiency and acoustic comfort. Architects therefore face an important challenge: to achieve a balance between an attractive look and performance. To do so, it is pivotal to specify the right materials during the design stage.