Back in May, when in New York for ICFF, I bicycled past an interesting building with elaborate sun screening, and wrote Nice Shades On New York's Learning Spring School. I wrote:
I think this is pretty new; the architects still have it in their "on the boards" section. But watch the architectural awards over the next year or so; this will be winning a lot of them.
Now it has been professionally photographed, and it looks even better on a sunny day.
Architects Platt Byard Dovell tell ArchDaily:
To protect the façades of the building from the unobstructed southeast exposure to the sun, and to provide a valuable visual buffer from the busy intersection, the building is draped with an aluminum and stainless steel sunscreen supported by an external steel armature. Behind is an aluminum, glass and zinc curtain wall. Flanking the adjacent buildings to the north and west and extending along the base of the building is a terracotta rainscreen. Between the two systems is a vertical band of tubular channel glass marking important circulation spaces within. The resulting architecture provides a welcoming and dignified representation of a group of children and their educators long underserved by the city’s schools.
The building’s aluminum sunshades, low-e coated insulated glass units, and zinc rain screen spandrels help to cut solar gain significantly. Other environmentally friendly features include operable windows for natural ventilation, low-flow fixtures for water savings, and high-efficiency equipment for energy savings. The LearningSpring School received an AIA/CAE Educational Facility Design Award in 2011.
I continue to believe that architects should design to keep the heat and sun out in the first place, instead of paying to do so after with air conditioning. Just using efficient glass isn't enough, since it doesn't adapt to different solar angles like a brise soliel can. Nice shades also add texture and detail to to the building, they become an architectural feature.