From terra-cotta to rammed earth and mass timber assemblies, AN has gathered its top facades highlights from 2022. Marking a year in which environmental standards continued to push the evolution of the building envelope, architects responded to energy concerns with a wide range of material palettes that offer envelope solutions across climate zones. The following list includes residential buildings, offices, a nursing home, and even a greenhouse, but they all share the same concern for innovative design and elevated construction.
In February, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) marked the completion of its slick, black terra-cotta and glass gridded 28&7. Named for the intersection it sits on in Chelsea, Manhattan, SOM Partner Chris Cooper told AN that 28&7 has a “typical New York City backdrop.” In selecting black-glazed terra-cotta—customized by Shildan—the team at SOM was able to harmoniously contrast 28&7 with the surrounding gray and tan stone buildings. The terra-cotta grid is divided on a “nominal” 10-foot module, providing tenants flexibility within office spaces. Cooper said the team carefully studied the profile, color, and texture of the terra-cotta to understand how the material interacted with glass and light. After considering ribbed and fluted profiles for the terra-cotta frame, the design chose hollowed tiles to complement the flat glass.