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The word facade originates from the Latin facies, meaning 'the face of the house'. In ancient times, few people gave much thought to the 'faces' of their homes: it was quite enough to be sheltered from the wind and rain. Today, a much higher standard prevails. Apart from its effect on the appearance of a building, the facade is crucial to its practicality. Accordingly, the design and construction of facades has evolved into an architectural art form.
Facade design is different from interior design. Apart from serving as an expression of the architect's creative mind, a facade must also be robust enough to withstand wind, rain, sunlight and vibration. Few universities teach the art of the facade, and architects must learn their trade by experience and instinct.
The Art of Facades provides a multifaceted look at the anatomy of the modern facade using text, photography, and three-dimensional and CAD renderings. Readers will come away with a new appreciation of this most vital and public of architectural features - and the ability to understand the fascinating story behind 'the face of the house'.
About the author
After graduating from the University of Ottawa in 1980 with a major in Mechanical Engineering, Michael Lee completed his MBA at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1995. Since then, he has participated in the design and construction of unique facades around the globe, including projects in the Middle East, America, Egypt, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. Currently, Lee is director of Merry Ocean Facade Technologies Limited, a specialised facade design and consultancy firm which he established in year 2000. He has also lent his experience to cultivating Hong Kong's next generation of façade designers: Lee has been invited by The Chartered Institute of Building (Hong Kong) to speak on facade construction at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and from 2003 to 2006, he was a guest lecturer at City University of Hong Kong.