August 29, 2019
8 Architectural Products That Perform Double Duty
The right architectural products or materials can help architects and designers address a whole host of problems or priorities in buildings.
As the line between the structural and the decorative continues to blur, architectural products are called upon to fill rather demanding briefs. At the new Central Library in Calgary, completed at the end of 2018 by global firm Snøhetta with Canadian office DIALOG, this trend is clear.
Designing for a site that straddles two neighborhoods and a light-rail line in a city where over half the residents are regular library users, the architects focused on drawing in the surrounding community and making sure the space would always feel welcoming despite heavy use. Beyond the flashy facade of fritted glass and hexagonal aluminum patterns, a wide variety of rooms required specific surface treatments.
For spaces including reception areas, stacks, and the so-called Living Room, which overlooks the library’s surroundings, the architects specified rectangular tile from Italian company Casalgrande Padana that met standards for durability and suited the warm, organic palette of the interiors. It’s an expansive and generous project, but also proof that when it comes to architecture, God is in the details.