August 2017

A new boutique hotel at 120 Allen Street in New York City makes a striking addition to the Big Apple skyline, thanks to a custom solar shading and screening solution from Levolux.

Designed by Grzywinski+Pons architects, the distinctive development is located on Manhattans’ Lower East Side and incorporates commercial workspace at ground floor level, with residential accommodation above. The building comprises a ten-storey tower to the west, adjoining a five-storey tower to the east.

Hand-made, coal-fired bricks have been used to clad the building at lower levels, while the upper levels have been given an ultra-modern appearance, thanks to a Levolux solar shading and screening solution.

As a world leading solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux devised a custom solution that extends from the 6th floor up to roof level. The solution is based on the company’s popular Infiniti Fin system, which has been adapted to create an external veil of horizontal, aerofoil-shaped fins.

Engineered from aluminium components, the fins, each measuring 150mm wide, effectively wrap around the building on four sides. To create the optimum sun cut-off angle, the Fins are set at an angle of 45 degrees.

As a form of Brise Soleil, the Fins shield the building from solar radiation. This is most noticeable during the summer when excessive solar heat gain can become a real problem, particularly for high-rise buildings.

The Fins are secured at a variable pitch across each floor, increasing from 190mm at low levels, up to 750mm in front of glazed openings. By limiting the exposure of windows to direct sunlight, the Fins help to maintain a naturally cool and comfortable environment for occupants.

Most of the Fins are fixed back to external steelwork, allowing them to project up to 3 metres from the building. However, planning restrictions were imposed on north and south-facing elevations, as they overlook neighbouring properties.

As a result, any structures applied to the facades on these elevations, could have a projection of no more than 75mm. To satisfy this requirement, Levolux created a custom aluminium extrusion, which forms the front portion of the aerofoil-shaped Fin, but measures just 75mm in width.

The smaller Fin section is fitted directly to the façade on north and south-facing elevations and aligns perfectly with other fully-formed Fins. Mitred corners ensure Fins continue seamlessly around the building.

For long-lasting good looks, all aluminium Fins have been given an attractive and highly durable dark grey matt powder coating.

The new building, which is now an iconic Manhattan landmark, accommodates a luxury boutique hotel and sets a benchmark for sustainable urban development. The application of a highly distinctive, yet efficient solar shading and screening solution, from Levolux, provides significant benefits not only to the developer, but also to the building’s occupants and the wider community.