Perforated façades have long been employed to help buildings regulate ventilation, light, and privacy. And with today's advanced digital design and fabrication techniques, they're easier to create than ever, leading to plenty of buildings that really don't mind if you judge them by their covers. Plenty of new large-scale structures have made their debut with bold exterior cut-outs (i.e. the itty bitty holes adorning this Spanish art museum or the more amorphous voids in this Belarusian soccer stadium), but the technique has also graced many private residences around the world. Whether it's brick, wood, or metal, these "holesome" façades manage to meet specific needs of each home—or at least, give them an extra shot of pizzaz.
Below, a globe-trotting tour of beautiful perforated façades from the last couple of years, starting with the most recent:
↑ ↓ Ljubljana, Slovenia · OFIS Architects · 2015
The perforated metal envelope of this 3,660-square-foot house creates an illusion of depth through its light and shadows. The diagonal crosses are both functional and symbolic: they serve as cross-braces for the frames of the panels and achieves a level of visual identity, à la the ornamental façade seen on historical homes in the region.
↑ ↓ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam · DD Concept · 2014
Sandwiched between two blocky structures, this tall, narrow house in Ho Chi Minh City incorporates cut-out façades as a way to achieve some privacy and facilitate a relationship with the outdoors (i.e. some room to breathe!)
↑ ↓ Da Nang, Vietnam · Tropical Space · 2014
While the perforated brick façades of this termite nest-inspired house are useful in bringing in light and ventilation, they also offer the added benefit of a natural light show of sorts. The brick walls look "light red" in the morning, "dark red" in the afternoon, and "purple" heading into the evening.
↑ ↓ Tel Aviv, Israel · Pitsou Kedem Architects · 2014
Aptly named "In Praise of Shadows," this 6,234-square-foot house is awash in checkerboard patterns of light and shadows cast by the weathered steel screens on its façade. The cut-out pattern, which extends to multiple surfaces on the interior, helps regulate sunlight into open spaces and shape views in and out of the structure.
↑ ↓ Poznan, Poland · Piotr Kluj and Paweł Litwinowicz · 2013
The owners of this new house wanted their collection of Art Nouveau furniture to feel, well, not totally out of place in this modern cube. So the architects gave two wooden portions of the façade ornamental cut-outs that match the patterns of the furnishings on the inside. The perforated panels also lend some privacy to a bedroom and bathroom.
↑ ↓ Melbourne, Australia · Inglis Architects · 2013
Stuck between two houses, this narrow home uses its stark white perforated screen as a way to distinguish itself from the neighbors and create its own dialogue with the surrounding environment. Compared to a flat façade, the extra layer adds depth and identity to the home.
↑ ↓ London, England · vPPR Architects · 2012
A subtle pattern of perforations adorn the façade of this London pub-turned-residential-extension. Sitting between two historic buildings, the single-story structure adds a private office with a rooftop terrace.
↑ ↓ Amsterdam, the Netherlands · Chris Kabel (façade design) · Abbink X de Haas Architects · 2011
Kabel's façade design for this Dutch residential building features aluminum sheets with cut-out shapes that can bend up to catch sunlight or bend down for shading.