APPLIED SCIENCE AT SCHOOL May 2011
Latymer Upper School’s new £8.3 million Science and Library building effectively fuses contemporary architecture with existing medieval style architecture, with dark red terracotta cladding and an external Solar Shading solution from Levolux.
The school has a long tradition of excellence in Science and has a distinguished alumni, excelling in the fields of physics, geophysics, astronomy and biochemistry. The four-storey Science and Library building, designed by van Heyningen & Haward Architects, exemplifies these scientific principles to minimise running costs, whilst maximising the comfort of its occupants. A striking example of this is the application of Solar Shading to exposed elevations.
As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux followed a challenging brief to develop a custom solution incorporating its aluminium Aerofoil Fins and polycarbonate Fins.
Along the building’s east and west facing elevations, Levolux installed 72 individual polycarbonate Fins. Standing vertically, each Fin measures 600mm wide and 3.2 metres long and is framed on three sides by aluminium flashings finished in a co-ordinated matt brown powder coating.
The Fins are positioned vertically in pairs to shield floor to ceiling glazed panels from the sun’s rays as it passes overhead from east to west. With their lightweight, yet durable polycarbonate construction, the Fins create a distinctive aesthetic, appearing white against the sun, but slightly translucent from behind.
Elsewhere, on exposed south-facing elevations, Levolux installed projecting extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, each measuring 100mm wide, formed into 15 panels. Each panel comprises 7 Aerofoil Fins and measures 1.2 metres in length, projecting 750mm from the building’s facade. Finished in the same matt brown powder coating, the Aerofoil Fins provide effective shading to windows, reducing the risk of excessive solar heat gain inside the building.
The completed Solar Shading solution complements the overall scheme and provides an attractive contrast against the building’s dark red terracotta facade and the traditional red brick used extensively in surrounding buildings.
Latymer Upper School’s Science and Library building, with three floors, accommodating 13 multi-purpose science laboratories, has expanded the school’s curriculum in this area. The external Solar Shading solution applied to the building not only helps to reduce energy costs, but by helping to maintain a comfortable environment it also reminds pupils of the benefits of science in practice.