Ceramic tiles were specially manufactured by AGROB BUCHTAL for the renovation of three building facades of the Stiftung Vivendra, a facility for cerebrally handicapped persons in Switzerland.

The facade renovation on Stiftung Vivendra, a facility for cerebrally handicapped persons in Switzerland, built  during transition from the sixties to the seventies, was carefully planned and processed by L3P Architekten with high-quality materials. The complex comprises four buildings of which three facades were completely refurbished, with House D to follow at a later date.

Structure and insulation
One peculiarity was that the load-bearing capacity of the building was statically insufficient, so the anchoring and the load transfer of the new building shell had to be effected via the ceilings. This was achieved by means of consoles with angle brackets, which were adjustable in order to level deviating facade depths. The consoles formed the basis for an intelligent facade construction with optimal insulation in terms of energy efficiency and elimiated existing massive thermal bridges.

It also allowed a multi-layered design towards the outside: On a lathing providing a rear-ventilation space of 4cm, the KNAUF AQUAPANEL Cement Board Outdoor was screwed, and ceramic tiles were laid on these boards.

The building shell
Architectural ceramics brand, AGROB BUCHTAL, specially produced the tiles for this project in the Buchtal factory at D-92521 Schwarzenfeld. Before specifying this cladding material, L3P architect, Mareike Beumer, had inspected historic tile facades in Hamburg. Above all, sustainability, durability, aesthetics and absolute colour and light fastness were relevant to her.  

Facade upgraded with ceramic tiles Agrob Buchtal2

Architectural intent
Stiftung Vivendra is situated in a park-like environment with many guests and occupants enjoying the outside air. To reflect this human activity together with the facility’s diversity, the architect wanted to avoid a monotonous impression and create a “park for the senses”.

Thanks to the facade ceramics’ 3D shaping and glozzy glaze, the buildings’ shells convey alternating effects and gentle reflections. The intended diversity is further underlined by arranging the two formats of 6 x 30cm and 10 x 30cm in changing constellations, so that a discreet rhythm is created. In addition, the two colours of the facade ceramics correspond with the environment to make the buildings appear less voluminous and rather filigree.

The tiles were layed horizontally, even around the external corners of the buildings and balconies, without being interrupted by other materials such as metal rails, to achieve a homogenous look. This was possible thanks to exact mitre cuts.

Strikingly bordered windows extend over the long sides of the buildings as a prominent band. To accentuate this effect, the depth of the reveals was increased to 50cm. This is not only advantageous on hot summer days, but gives rise to additional plays of light and shadow on the facade.

Special frames with raised edges of approximately 5cm visually emphasise the rows of windows, perfectly border the cut sides of the tiles and also hide the ventilation outlets without impairing their functionality.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.agrob-buchtal.de, www.l3p.ch and www.schlagenhauf.ch for the information given to write this article.

Caption:
Depending on the incidence of light and the position, 3D tiles of AGROB BUCHTAL create alternating effects and discreet charms, which turn the surrounding park into a “park for the senses”.  
Courtesy of AGROB BUCHTAL Gmbh / Adriano Faragulo

Caption:The facade renovation on House C is convincing thanks to sustainability and aesthetics, while at the same time preserving the architectural roots.
Courtesy of AGROB BUCHTAL Gmbh / Adriano Faragulo