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Curtain wall, fachada de catálogo

http://www.enclos.com/service-and-technology/technology/custom-curtainwall

Pocas veces nos cuestionamos la razón de ser de los materiales que aplicamos en las fachadas de las edificaciones. Parece que existe en nuestro inconsciente un catálogo de materiales que debemos usar de forma predeterminada, como es el caso de los curtain walls para los edificios de oficinas. Los muros cortina han adoptado un carácter protagónico en las fachadas de los rascacielos alrededor del mundo y en la ciudad de Lima. Sin embargo, esta solución trae consigo deficiencias que afectan al usuario de forma inmediata. Ello nos invita a reflexionar sobre el origen de esta tendencia y si debemos o no seguir considerándola la mejor solución.

La revolución industrial, da pie al uso de nuevos materiales, como el hierro y el cristal, así como nuevos sistemas constructivos en la arquitectura e ingeniería. Ello se ve en diversos ejemplos, el pionero de todos ellos es el Palacio de Cristal que se construyó en el Hyde Park de Londres, para la gran exposición mundial de 1851. Esta edificación fue una gran innovación para la época la cual transmitía el avance tecnológico en la construcción, debido a la implementación de muros cortina en sus fachadas. Posteriormente los arquitectos modernos aplican la misma técnica. Entre los ejemplos más recordados está el Seagram building, en Manhattan de Mies Van der Rohe, la Bauhaus en Dessau y el Centrosoyus Building en Moscú de Le Corbusier y Nikolai Kolli.

En el libro Glass in Modern Architecture, Arthur Korn, el autor, explica porque se utilizan los muros cortina en la arquitectura moderna. Korn, dice que nunca antes se había logrado una membrana única que cubriera las fachadas de un edificio de forma totalitaria. Así mismo, expresa su emoción por un material perceptible pero invisible, y los efectos visuales y estéticos que el mismo genera. En otras palabras, los muros cortina, son clave para reflejar la síntesis y espacialidad difusa de la arquitectura moderna, logrando su propósito con éxito.

Sin embargo, estas fachadas traen muchas deficiencias para las edificaciones del siglo XXI. En primer lugar, vemos un ingreso totalmente descontrolado de luz hacia el interior de los edificios, el cual incomoda al usuario al momento de realizar sus actividades cotidianas. Es por ello, que cuando observamos un edificio de oficinas en Lima durante el verano, vemos cortinas roller a medio bajar para evitar el ingreso de luz solar. Al ser, en la mayoría de los casos una fachada hermética, el uso de aire acondicionado constante se vuelve una condición sine qua non. Dentro del espacio, se generan microclimas ya que las zonas más cercanas a las ventanas exceden en calor y las más lejanas en frío. Aquel problema afecta al trabajador generándole poco confort, al dueño generando gastos excesivos en aire acondicionado y al medio ambiente. En tercer lugar, se limita el diseño arquitectónico de las fachadas, ya que los módulos de vidrio son prefabricados, lo cual mecaniza la labor del arquitecto.

No obstante, dicha solución también tiene beneficios. La principal es que se ha generado un vínculo claro entre la función del edificio y su expresión formal. Es decir, que cuando uno ve un muro cortina sabe inmediatamente que se trata de un edificio de oficinas. Por otro lado, los grandes paneles de vidrio permiten amplias visuales y máxima captura de luz en los días grises, lo cual reduce el uso de luz eléctrica. Finalmente, como en la arquitectura moderna, se logra un diseño sintético y limpio. Sin embargo, el mismo puede ser comprometido ya que la transparencia permite ver la adecuación del espacio interior dependiendo el usuario, rompiendo así con el orden.

En mi opinión, el uso de los muros cortina para los edificios de oficinas en Lima se ha vuelto una solución fácil e inmediata para los arquitectos. Ha hecho que se mecanice por completo la labor de diseño, y que no se reflexione sobre ello. Esto obstruye la innovación y creación de nuevos perfiles urbanos e indiscutiblemente trae más problemas que beneficios. Es por ello que se debería re evaluar la vigencia de dicho acabado y pensar en alternativas más beneficiosas para las fachadas.

Joaquín Guerrero
Estudiante en la facultad de arquitectura de la UPC, con experiencia como arquitecto proyectista en Artadi Arquitectos y DLPS. Interés en la arquitectura, el urbanismo y el arte
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