From Architectural Requirements to Physical Creations

An Algorithmic-based Approach for Façade Design


  • Inês Caetano INESC-ID/Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • António Leitão INESC-ID/Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Francisco Bastos CiTUA, Centro de Inovação em Território, Urbanismo e Arquitetura, University of Lisbon, Portugal



Algorithmic design, Geometric patterns, Fabrication techniques, Facade panels


Computation-based approaches are increasingly important in architecture, namely Algorithmic Design (AD), which is based on the use of algorithms to generate designs. Besides enhancing design exploration, AD helps architects deal with recurrent design changes and with the pressure to quickly obtain results. Moreover, AD supports the search for better-performing solutions that satisfy environmental demands. Unfortunately, the complexity and specialized knowledge required by AD are still restraining architects due to the amount of effort and time needed to implement the necessary algorithms. To make AD and design optimization techniques more accessible, we propose a theoretical framework to help architects with the algorithmic generation, evaluation, and manufacturing of a large variety of designs, by following a continuous design workflow that merges the typically detached design stages. In order to be useful, the framework needs to focus on a domain of application, and, in this paper, we target the development of buildings’ façades due to their aesthetical and environmental relevance. We evaluate the framework in the context of a real case study resulting from a collaboration between a team of architects specialized in AD and a traditional design studio


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