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Facade design process

Facade Design Process.

Façade Elevation. Main elevation.

Facade Design Process

Façade stages design process. Designing a Facade occurs in stages. We plan both, what we want it to look like and what is behind or inside, in no strict order. Sometimes one leads the other. We typically show the client a rendering or sketch, then we draft as we develop the project. Then it gets built, and some decisions are not made until the last minute, perhaps the color, the landscape and so on. Here is a New home in 4 levels, a lower ground level and a top terrace, which you don’t get to see in reality.

We hope you enjoy!

Architect Sketch Jerry Jacobs


The Rendering
In this case done the old fashioned way by hand. After the preliminary design a rendering to show the client.
Front Elevation
The technical term for the drafted Façade. Though the Elevation Drawings are also done before the rendering, this was the final drawing. Yet you will see changes made to the built façade.

Facad Desgin Jerry Jacobs

In progress

As you can see the entrance changed, with the glass not extending to the 4th level.

Residential Architect Design Jerry JacobsCompleted Façade. Notice the paint color, the four pilasters limestone and the palm trees complete the look.

Detail above the entrance. It is still missing a glass canopy.
Residential Design Jerry Jacobs
Detail from the 4th level.
Actually not part of the front façade, but it shows the adjacent home which we designed as well, and façade details in both.It does take time to design and the process is a discovery in itself. You imagine, you draw, and make adjustments, improvements and changes. When you are on the site, the actual building looks different, so you adjust.

Villa on the Beach elevation drawing

Villa on the Beach under construction

Villa on the Beach completedVilla on the Bech. It was design over a couple of years and first on a nearby lot of the same dimension and orietacion. Notice the entry arch and the top scroll were added later.


Tiburon California home Before and after additionTiburon California Home. Before and after addition.

Facade Design Process.

 Residential Design Jerry JacobsBack elevation for home in Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico. Unbuilt.

Elevation drawing of Casa Lila

La Casa Lila, Chimalistac, Mexico City

This Facade of our minimalist home project, could not be seen properly, until we purchased the lot in the back. There was a wall dividing the lots only about 8′ from the front glass, or where the tree on the right is, now gone. When it was designed deconstuctivism made sense in keeping the dead tree fork. The pine on the right is still alive.

Casa Ramis barquetOne of our first homes, rendering and almost complete. See changes and consistencies

CONACYT horizontal highrise

CONACYT. A Corporate Brutslist building in Mexico City. Now the science Museum. Sometimes the rendering is nicer (actually often).


Keeping a listed facade and then erecting a building behind or above, is described as Façadism in this nice article from BBC. “The rise of “Façadism” in London.

This is a worldwide trend which is based on numerous listed building or Facades with a value, that in turn are not taking full advantage of the real estate potential of the site. Most notably in N.Y. Norman Foster designed the Hearst Publication new building sky-rise retaining the old 3 level Facade. This trend is however almost strictly in comercial design. Though highrises can be residential too, most likely they will devote some of the lower level to comercial ventures.

Design Process.

The design process in general is different to other thinking or production processes. It is not as lineal but perhaps geometrical. It goes in many directions simultaneously. Then it fits all together suddenly. Though personally I have 40+ years of Architecture and Interior design experience I by no means claim to be an expert in the process.


Some of our Architecture and Interior Design projects shown above can be seen further in the links below:

Thank you for visiting!

Thank you to my clients. I tremendously enjoyed the process and working with you!

Jerry Jacobs Design. San Francisco . Belvedere-Tiburon.  +1.415.435.0520     Contact