Curtains of glass

In office buildings, the frame is now consigned to the interior. The façades freed in this way of any load-bearing role are, from the second half of the 1950s, transformed into genuine curtains of glass. The office space, also freed up, is laid out in enormous so-called “open-plan” levels.
The curtain walls are made up of a light metal frame, into which the glazing elements are inserted. This frame is suspended from the skeleton of the building, anchored to the extremities of the deck of each floor.

It is possible to take down suspended curtain walls and replace them without touching the structure of the buildings. The undressing, in the space of a few months, again lays bare their concrete skeleton.

From the beginning of the 1960s, voices rise against the robbing of the curtain wall’s originality which has lost its revolutionary novelty and whose uniform extension to buildings for all purposes constitutes a danger […] for genuine creators (La Maison, issue 6, 1964). The exposed skeleton technique then establishes itself: the building’s load-bearing system is displayed in the façade, in front of recessed walls of glass.