Monday, March 21, 2011

And everything comes together...

Despite physically feeling less than 100%, I'm feeling a heck of a lot better about where I'm headed with my 'facade treatment', if I may.
I have located the training area of my facility on the highway side of our site as the large facade would best suit the scale of the freeway. (Smaller programmatic elements face the smaller street on the east.) Initially I wanted the acrobatics to be seen through the facade from the highway. However, considering the height of a person and the speed at which the cars are driving by... not such a great idea. Plus - I don't consider the highway a 'nice view' and therefore transparent glass is unnecessary. In addition to all this, a feature of my first iteration was to be panels that rotated and reflected sunlight into the training centre - kind of creating a 'passive light show'.

Keeping all this in mind, and speaking with Vince, I have moved on to a facade which diffuses light through channel glass. This type of glass allows daylight to pass through without the solar heat gain. This article has sold me on its performance in the desert: "...was required by building code to meet a very high level of energy efficiency to deal with the extreme high and low temperatures of the desert. The channel glass definitely helps with that." Furthermore, that passive light show I mentioned? With the channel glass, silhouettes of the acrobats will be projected (and thus enlarged) on the facade, as seen from the exterior. It reminds me of the Feist show I saw at Massey Hall (recently analyzed for Digital Tools, whoooaaa the connections!) where the only 'effects' used were beads, paint, cardboard etc. projected onto a backdrop by your typical school projector. (See images below)

Extensive use of channel glass at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art by Steven Holl Architects

Feist concert 'effects'
Oh, and remember how my whole building design concept was 'spatial awareness'/'movement of the body'? I'm happy that my facade (maybe used on interior elements too?) now reinforces that. Feeling a bit too relieved?... Probably.

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