Richard Francis-Jones is design director for fjmt, the architects behind Sydney's latest architectural landmark, the mixed-use King & Phillip development. The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2020, features a stunning facade that incorporates curved glass and perforated bronze-coloured screens to create the impression of a shimmering golden tower.
"Architects are definitely spending more time on facades in their designs, all around the world," Francis-Jones says. "I think there is much greater recognition of them. Not only do they contribute to the character and identity of our streets and public spaces but equally as important is the way they perform and the way they work."
Francis-Jones says facades have a number of roles. "They need to insulate buildings, help conserve energy, allow natural ventilation to bring light deep into the building, all while creating views and privacy," he says. "Facades work hard and as we see our technology develop they will become even greater performers in creating human comfort and a sense of delight in our cities."
King & Phillip's facade of a perforated bronze metallic screen encompasses the entire building. It's designed to complement the nearby heritage-listed colonial buildings through its modulated form and corresponding material palette. The tower facade incorporates fixed glazing, vertically sliding frameless glass windows and sliding balcony doors.
The effect, Francis-Jones says, is to create the impression of a shimmering building as you look up.
Here are some other incredible apartment facades from around the world.
L'Oasis D'Aboukir, Paris
This explosion of green in the middle of a bustling Parisian neighbourhood takes you by surprise. Located on the corner of rue Aboukir and rue de Petits Carreaux in the 2nd arrondissement, L'Oasis D'Aboukir or "The Oasis of Aboukir" was originally produced for Paris Design Week and the installation took just seven weeks.
Designed by living wall inventor and French botanist Patrick Blanc, the vertical green wall covers the facade of a five-storey historic building that was once just raw concrete.
The 25-metre high green wall uses 7600 plants from 237 different species planted in diagonal waves. The wall helps reduce the overall temperature within the building as the plants reduce the absorption of solar radiation and heat storage. So it's practical as well as attractive.
Beijing Greenland Centre, Beijing
This mixed-use, 55-storey building located in the Dawangjing business district rises 260 metres and is clad in a trapezoidal curtain exterior with glass panels. The panels function as prisms and capture and refract sunlight, creating a woven texture of light and shadow.
Two different trapezoidal modules were used, with one tapering upward and the other downward. The modules alternate in a regular pattern on all sides of the building with the repeating glass modules providing self-shading that improves the building's environmental performance.
The building is designed to use 30 per cent less energy and water than most buildings in the country.
New York by Gehry, New York
Located at 8 Spruce Street in Manhattan and originally known as Beekman Tower, New York by Gehry is one of the tallest residential towers in the world. At 265 metres and comprising 76 storeys, its dynamic facade is a standout in the city's financial district.
Its rippling structural frame follows the deconstructivist style - like much of the architect's Frank Gehry's designs - and covers three faces of the tower.
A public school, clad in reddish brick, sits on the lower levels but above it there is a 900-unit luxury residential tower clad in rumpled stainless steel.
The contoured facade appears to flow up into the Manhattan skyline and the exterior, which features 10,500 individual steel panels, creates the impression that the overall shape changes as you move around it.
The Interlace, Singapore
The Interlace stands out in Singapore, where high-rise buildings are typically stand-alone, isolated affairs. It offers a dramatically different approach through an interconnected network of living and communal spaces that integrate with the local natural environment.
The Interlace has been described as resembling Jenga blocks, with 31 bricks irregularly stacked on top of each other - and you can understand why. The 1000-unit apartment complex consists of 31 six-storey apartment blocks, all identical in length and stacked in hexagonal configurations surrounding eight courtyards. The arrangement is designed to allow for communal spaces, roof gardens, terraces and balconies.
The development makes full use of the space available - 170,000 square metres - and incorporates nature in the form of cascading sky gardens, landscaped sky terraces, and lush green areas that provide a connection to the tropical landscape on the ground.