© Coop Himmelb(l)au

Enveloped in Edges: Prismatic Façades With Triangulation

Whether triangles are used in even conformations to create a shell-patterned skin of a building, or they are employed in a variety of sizes to create 3D surfaces, triangulated façades make a statement.

Sophia Choi Sophia Choi

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Architects often think about building design and construction through systems, which can be both aesthetic and structural. Systems of triangulation — where multiple triangles are reiterated to form a network of structure and support — have been tried and true methods in construction dating back to Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome and the design of early steel bridges. While triangulation systems have typically been utilized for their inherent structural properties, the prismatic patterns they engender also result in a matrix with great visual interest.

Contemporary architects have taken this aspect to another level, viewing this structural system simultaneously as a sculptural element and using it to envelop façades with striking aesthetic qualities. Whether triangles are used in even conformations to create a shell-patterned skin of a building, or they are employed in a variety of sizes to create 3D surfaces, triangulated façades continue to make a statement worldwide.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space by Coop Himmelb(l)au, Munich, Germany

For this small opera space, the architects translated actual sounds to irregular triangular pyramid shapes using a 3D-modeling tool.

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence by ZAS Architects + Interiors, Toronto, Canada

This undulating façade is composed of a series of triangles, their position based on a precise and complex algorithm that embodies the building program. The patterns also evoke the properties of a cloud, reflecting light and patterns across campus and into interior spaces.

© SEBASTIAN CRESPO

© SEBASTIAN CRESPO

© Juan Antonio Andrade Béjar

© Juan Antonio Andrade Béjar

© SEBASTIAN CRESPO

© SEBASTIAN CRESPO

Integral Illuminacion Commercial Building by Jannina Cabal Arquitectos, Samborondon, Ecuador

One side of the building’s façade is wrapped by a tensile fabric with a geometric pattern of irregular triangles. This side is flanked by a smoother façade that accentuates the sculptural qualities of the triangulation.

© LIN GMBH

© LIN GMBH

© LIN GMBH

© LIN GMBH

© LIN GMBH

© LIN GMBH

Cite du Design Saint-Étienne by LIN GMBH, Saint-Étienne, France

A modular system of triangular panels envelop the building. The system was also developed to easily transplant and replace photovoltaic panels for energy production. The triangulation seen on the façade is also translated in the exposed structural frames in the interior.

© de bever architecten

© de bever architecten

© de bever architecten

© de bever architecten

© de bever architecten

© de bever architecten

façade moiré by de bever architecten, Almelo, Netherlands

The façade for this parking garage consists of prefabricated, recycled aluminum modules that fit together easily and are also detachable. The perforated, red 3D triangles create depth while also acting as a screen façade.

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

© Alejandro García & Arquitectos

Oficina de Turismo by Alejandro García & Architects, Ateixo, Spain

A system of irregular triangles made of anodized aluminum creates a skin around this small visitors center. The mesh skin creates a partially visible façade that is also sculptural.

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© Electric Bowery

Amoroso Residence // Electric Bowery

Los Angeles, CA, United States

© Seth Stein Architects

House in Somerset // Seth Stein Architects

United Kingdom

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