Examples of the use of terracotta

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There are several examples of the recent use of terracotta which have influenced architects to use this material.

IRCAM building

One of the early uses of terracotta as a cladding material in the palette of modern architecture was by Renzo Piano in 1988 at the extension of the IRCAM studio and the housing project at Rue de Meaux in Paris. At IRCAM, he wanted a cladding system which fitted into the traditional Parisian fabric, and thus invented a new system where the 300 mm x 21 0 mm terracotta tiles are threaded on to metal bars, like kebabs, and fixed to a prefabricated frame, to be used as a rainscreen.

The frames are I 2 tiles wide.These hollow tiles are mounted on aluminium circular bars spanning across the frame.The whole assembly has a hierarchy of open joint sizes.The vertical joints are 20 mm. At the junction with floors the joints are 80 cm. Close up you are aware of this hierarchy, from a distance you see a massive terracotta-covered volume.

Examples of the use of terracotta 37

2.1 IRCAM building, Paris, by Renzo Piano (photo © Christopher Grech).

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