Write a brief paper about:
“Role of limits in Architecture, towards a perspective of SelfSufficient buildings ”
a course of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed
Master in City & Technology_2016/2017
Faculty:Vicente Guallart
Tutor:Eulalia Moran
Student:  Federica Ciccone


– It’s often smarter
to borrow from nature
than reinvent the wheel-


The key role of the building envelope in attaining building energy efficiency and satisfactory indoor comfort has long been established. Nevertheless, until recent times, all efforts and attention have mainly been focused on increasing and optimizing the thermal insulation of the envelope components, their contribution also under the energetic capacity and their multi-role in the potential benefits of this technological development are relevant, since the building envelope plays a key role in controlling the energy and mass flows from outdoors to indoors (and vice versa) and, moreover, the facades offer a significant opportunity for solar energy exploitation, in order to reduce the energy demand, to maximize the indoor comfort conditions and to produce energy at the site, these almost ‘self-sufficient’, or even ‘positive energy’ building skins, frequently incorporate different technologies and are functionally connected to other building services and installations.

An overview of the technological evolution of the building envelope that has taken place, ranging from traditional components to the innovative skins, will be given in this paper, focusing on the different approaches that have characterized this development, trought several researches examples, in way to demonstrate that the limitation of the existing facades could be overcome only by switching from ‘static’ to ‘responsive’ and ‘dynamic’ systems.


This search wants to underline the key role of building envelope in the architectural organism, underlining the existing explicit analogy between this one and the anatomical systems of the reactive skins, purely quoting examples scientific legacies; to the circle of the biochemistry, human and animal neurology, to go then to an intensive excursus, that crosses and underlines the fundamental steps of the evolution of the same, from the primordial examples, up to our days; with the goal to show the potentialities that the building’s skins has, not only hold in the economies of comfort and consumes of the single building, but also in a widened and repetibile vision, that could also develops a key role in the global environmental context.s20161219_limits-_-reactive-skin-for-self-sufficient-buildings_federica-ciccone23 s20161219_limits-_-reactive-skin-for-self-sufficient-buildings_federica-ciccone24