Celebrated for their ability to minimize a building’s energy consumption and maximize air circulation, dynamic façades are exteriors with moveable parts responsive to the surrounding environment. The sustainability factor, in addition to their flexibility when it comes to creating privacy and visual enticement, have been instrumental to the growing prominence of these architectural features. Here are four recent examples from retail and hospitality projects.



Installed beneath a skeleton wood frame, the façade of Hiroshima salon Créde Hair’s Inokuchi comprises folding screens forged from galvanized iron. Japanese practice Fathom designed the dynamic feature – which can be configured in four different positions – so that the client can change the level of privacy within the interior. When fully open, the façade reveals a space especially developed for children to play while their parents get their hair cut.

Photos: Hiroki Tagma



Italian marble manufacturer Marsotto tapped Nendo to create its showroom for marble furniture, sundries and samples of processed materials in Milan’s Brera district. Naturally, marble was the select material for the showroom’s façade. Nendo aligned the joints of the new exterior with those of the existing exterior’s, harmonizing the new build with the surroundings. The traffic circle facing the showroom will soon be transformed into a small park – the designers prepared for this by turning part of the façade into ‘impromptu street furniture’, inviting passersby to relax.

Photos: Raitt Liu


Dongqi Architects

Visitors to Basdban, a single-brand coffee shop in Shanghai, encounter a 12-m-long stainless steel sliding door incorporated with a historical exterior. When slid aside, the door reveals newly constructed doors and windows. Foldable stainless steel panels enable an 8-m-long floating bar counter to be stretched outward. When the door is shut, however, it hides these new openings with the existing red brick wall. Dongqi Architects' solution for integrating the indoor and outdoor spaces expresses Basdban’s brand personality while respecting this architectural heritage.

Photos: Takumi Ota


Schemata Architects

Continuing their relationship with Blue Bottle Coffee, Schemata Architects has created a 25-m-long takeaway-only stand for the brand outside of Yokohama’s NEWoMan shopping mall. Outswing folding glass doors enclose the barista area and, when opened outward to their full 1.2 m, create corners for customers to wait or drink their coffee. Furniture such as a small condiment station, merchandise display table and a bench are kept stored under the stand’s counter and can easily be pulled out for use.