A facade or "façade" (IPAEng|fəˈsɑːd) is generally one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face".

In architecture, the facade of a building is often the most important from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building. Many facades are historic, and local zoning regulations or other laws greatly restrict or even forbid their alteration.

Highrise facades

In modern highrise buildings, the exterior walls are often suspended from the concrete floor slabs. Examples include curtain walls and precast concrete walls. The facade can at times be required to have a fire-resistance rating, for instance, if two buildings are very close together, to lower the likelihood of fire spreading from one building to another.

Whether rated or not, fire protection is always a design consideration both in terms of concern for the subject building as well as for the surroundings, as falling glass can endanger pedestrians, firefighters and firehoses below. An example of this is the [http://www.lafire.com/famous_fires/880504_1stInterstateFire/050488_InterstateFire.htm First Interstate Bank Fire] in Los Angeles, California. The fire here leapfrogged up the tower by shattering the glass and then consuming the aluminium skeleton holding the glass. Aluminium's melting temperature is 660 °C, whereas building fires can reach 1,100 °C. The melting point of aluminium is typically reached within minutes of the start of a fire. Firestops for such building joints can be qualified to [http://www.eram21.com UL 2079 -- Tests for Fire Resistance of Building Joint Systems] . Sprinklering of each floor has a profoundly positive effect on the fire safety of buildings with curtain walls. In the case of the aforementioned fire, it was specifically the activation of the newly installed sprinkler system, which halted the advance of the fire and allowed effective suppression.

Some building codes also limit the percentage of window area in exterior walls. When the exterior wall is not rated, the perimeter slab edge becomes a junction where rated slabs are abutting an unrated wall. For rated walls, one may also choose rated windows and fire doors, to maintain that wall's rating.

Film sets

On a film set, many of the buildings are "only" facades, which are far cheaper than actual buildings, and not subject to building codes. These are simply held up with supports from behind, and sometimes have boxes for actors to step in and out of from the front if necessary for a scene.


ee also

* Curtain wall
* Facadism
* Potemkin village

Further reading

title=The Catholic Encyclopedia
volume=Vol. 5.
place=New York
publisher=Robert Appleton Company
. The article outlines the development of the façade in ecclesiatical architecture from the early Christian period to the Renaissance.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу
(of a building), , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • façade — [ fasad ] n. f. • 1611; fassade 1565; it. facciata, de faccia « face » 1 ♦ Face antérieure d un bâtiment où s ouvre l entrée principale, donnant le plus souvent sur la rue. ⇒ 2. devant, front. « Le plan de cette belle façade du Louvre [...] qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Façade — • The face or front of any building. In ecclesiastical architecture the term is generally used to designate the west front; sometimes the transept fronts Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Facade     Façade …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Facade — Façade Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • facade — UK [fəˈsɑːd] / US [fəˈsɑd] or façade UK / US noun Word forms facade : singular facade plural facades 1) [countable] the front of a building, especially one that is large or impressive 2) [singular] a false appearance or way of behaving that hides …   English dictionary

  • façade — facade UK [fəˈsɑːd] / US [fəˈsɑd] or façade UK / US noun Word forms facade : singular facade plural facades 1) [countable] the front of a building, especially one that is large or impressive 2) [singular] a false appearance or way of behaving… …   English dictionary

  • Façade — Façade, (italiensk facciata, forside) er benævnelsen på forsiden af en bygning; man taler vel tillige om side facade, men facade betegner for byhuses vedkommende forsiden, den, som ved sin dekorative udstyrelse udtrykker bygningens karakter og… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • façade — Façade. s. f. Frontispice d un grand edifice. La façade d une Eglise. la façade d un Palais …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • facade — 1650s, front of a building, from Fr. façade (16c.), from It. facciata, from faccia face, from V.L. *facia (see FACE (Cf. face) (n.)). Figurative use by 1845 …   Etymology dictionary

  • facade —    , façade    (fah SAHD) [French, from Italian] The main face or front of a building; the side visible to the public. An outward appearance, especially one designed to make a good impression; a false front.    the façade of whose 18th century… …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • facade — or façade [fə säd′] n. [Fr < It facciata < faccia < VL facia: see FACE] 1. the front of a building; part of a building facing a street, courtyard, etc. 2. the front part of anything: often used figuratively, with implications of an… …   English World dictionary

  • Facade — Fa [,c]ade (f[.a] s[.a]d or f[.a] s[=a]d ), n. [F., fr. It. facciata, fr. faccia face, L. facies. See {Face}.] (Arch.) The front of a building; esp., the principal front, having some architectural pretensions. Thus a church is said to have its… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”