For a company like Rostek, there is no point in trying to be only a follower when it comes to facade planning and construction. Since with the amount of experience working under our roof, many complicated buildings can be safer accessed if our sales and designers are contacted early. It is easier to design a functional, good looking and reliable solution when the plans are just forming on the paper.
When talking about future trends of architecture, there is no other way for Rostek than to be a follower. However, to be a follower is precisely the place to be in the sense of better visual experience when completing building construction. I will explain myself better in the following chapters, but first, I would like to introduce visions presented by a few of the most admirable architects.
Visions for the better future
Sir Norman Foster who sums up the image Foster + Partners are creating when presenting their suggestion for the new Chicago airport terminal in YouTube: “Each generation of a terminal should reflect the technology.” In my eyes, he pleasantly pushes designers to test the limits of their visions for the more sustainable world. He also challenges the material providers to be more and more creative in order to be able to deliver sustainable, energy saving (and maybe even energy providing) and elegant products for construction.
“Small projects can make a big difference,” he says, and in the interview of Luis Fernández-Galiano in 2018, Foster reminds of the continuity of the themes like green thinking, recycling, and sustainability already tested by the forerunners in the late '70s. He encourages younger architects to continue to address the significant issues like climate change through design and infrastructure is his final statement of the interview.
Zaryadye public park in Moscow - Picture by: Government of Moscow Press centre, licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence.
It is getting finally greener according to Diller Scofidio + Renfro who reminded of the theory of Green Urbanism in the tabloids, when designing the Zaryadye public park in Moscow, Russia. The park is located in the very heart of Moscow city and has many built-in wave-shaped elements among the plantation. One of Diller Scofidio + Renfro´s ideas was to create “a hybrid landscape where the natural and the built cohabit to create a new public space.”
The very same approach has been used for example in some mixed buildings like Marina One in Marina Bay, Singapore, where planted nature is flourishing inside the apartment complex yard allowing people to enjoy greenery in the middle of the city. Just around the corner lie the office spaces, which have been built on another side of the complex.
Alternatively, one can feel the building and the outside world sort of communicating in many public areas like passenger terminals built during the last years. The Midfield Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi International Airport, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, is one example of using an undulating shape for the main entrance of the airport as an eye-catcher.
Nature in mind from design to delivery
Architects are talking about new revolutions of architecture where design is possible the way it has not ever been before, because of new, more and more shapeable facade materials like composite shell structure or glass-curtain walls, which can be combined with other elements like natural stone or plastic coated metals. Functional forms that reflect nature itself combined with abundant planting around or inside the buildings are trending in construction. Consuming less energy and even harvesting it has started to become a reality.
Rostek is also aiming for the minimal amount of energy and waste consumption with the light access systems provided for the facade construction companies. Facade maintenance and cleaning with the smallest possible effort, even when maintaining the parts of the buildings most challenging to reach with the help of the system lasting the lifetime, is the reason why we do exist.
A balance between being a follower and
a trusted advisor
The Terminal Complex at Abu Dhabi has over 8.5 kilometers of Rostek climbing monorail track and 27 self-powered platforms. The climbing monorails follow the wave-shaped facades around the whole terminal enabling maintenance with almost no disturbing of passengers. The fact that large glass facades, where people should be able to observe far, are time-consuming to keep clean, is the thing one cannot escape. The other thing is how to create the most pleasant customer experience in these public spaces and plan the maintenance among other services figured and pictured in the design phase?
Therefore our experts and consultants can help architects and facade consultants already early in the building planning phase. Rostek also provides BIM-models and advanced versions of the models to speed up the facade access planning.
A shape of a building is the thing, which lifts our interest. We like simple forms but not even mastering the manufacture of light facade access is not enough to compete for the market with only so-called standard products, because architects like a bit more complex forms! Since flexibility and adaptability are some of Rostek´s competitive advantages along with high-quality control, nearly all our projects are something else than delivering standard solutions.
Thanks to all magnificent orders we get, and because of all the experience we have gathered from nearly 5000 projects so far – almost nothing seems impossible and we are still happy to follow the lines drawn by architects. Quite often the follower will be heard like a trusted advisor if getting involved with the project in the early phase.
Sometimes buildings are cleverly designed for complete facade access like Torni hotel (The Tower) in Tampere, Finland, where a particular overhang on the very top of the tower is designed to be mobile to enable the BMU Cradle to run along the monorails around the tower. The architects from Jung & Jung also created a special red “mouth” for the black tower which actually is a maintenance shaft and the parking place for the cradle, where you can drive the BMU cradle safely, away from for the wind and from the eyes of the public. This way the disturbance of customer experience is minimized.
Following the curves to the next level
It is fascinating how challenging a building can be, and still how easily facades and ceilings can be reached if access tracks, gantries, and ladders are drawn already at an early stage along with the building plans. Maybe it is natural that these undulating shapes we see in many public buildings in every country are naturally formed in the minds of architects, and are not anymore dreams of how to change organic forms into real buildings.
The development of technology and construction has made it all possible. The curvy forms copied from nature and the opposite of square or sharp-angled creations seem to be also easily light and energy harvesting, and like Renzo Piano states in Ted Talk 2018: “Light is probably the most essential elements of architecture.”
The new architectural creations are long-lasting and take urban people, like most of the citizens of the world are, closer to nature and natural light even inside the buildings. Following those curves is what we do at Rostek. We bend as form bends, and we are as happy as the architects when we see our project buildings ready and equipped, and breathing for a better future.
Iso Omena Mall in the southern Espoo, Finland