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Issue 7.1

Glazed Terracotta-Based Ceramic Façades

Attracted by the inherent weathered aesthetic and reflective properties, and the allure of the imperfections found in its pressed and molded form, UNStudio began incorporating glazed terracotta-based ceramics into their façade designs on projects such as the W21–22 Retail Building (Figures 1 and 2) for the Baku White City Masterplan Development in Azerbaijan in 2012, and again in 2014 on the wasl Tower (Figure 7), a benchmark 300 m (984.25 ft.) super-high-rise located in the heart of Dubai’s downtown next to the Burj Khalifa. This article cross-analyzes these two contrasting building typologies and outlines strategic approaches UNStudio took using the material during the design process.

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