What makes a façade beautiful?
We are proud to announce the next regular issue of JFDE, which presents a variety of different interesting contributions. They include papers on the effects of plants growing over double façades, mitigation of seismic risks, blast resilience, and a comparative analysis of semi-permanent paperbased envelopes. Last but not least, one paper offers insight into the decision-making processes of façade designers and architects: ”What makes a façade beautiful?” is the title of one paper we are particularly happy to feature. We agree that the most successful façade examples – those that we actually remember and keep referring to as inspiration for our work – convey a certain message. A successful façade is the result of a good translation of the purpose, technical execution, functionality for the user, and finally: meaning. The latter refers to metaphysical aspects that are often difficult to explain. Façades and buildings do not simply provide space to host functions; they are displays of human activity in an urban context. They communicate, and they enable social interaction. At the same time, however, their built manifestation can limit us; In essence, architecture defines how we act and how we live. Good architecture makes us feel that it has the right answer to a
problem and conveys a sense of well-being. This manifests as materiality, proportion, haptic quality, and elegance. Even Vitruvius talked about beauty and appropriateness as fundamental qualities of architecture. The paper does not offer a list of good examples as templates for repetition but rather sets out to explore the aesthetic preferences of designers. It is great to feature a contribution to the inspiring debate between architects and engineers, both defending their arguments about what a good façade is. Enjoy reading this issue of JFDE and keep contributing with inspiring papers.