Belfast Harbour Studios

The new £20 million purpose-built Belfast Harbour Studios provide the optimum conditions for shooting major film productions, partly thanks to an external solar shading solution, courtesy of Levolux.

Levolux was invited to develop a custom solution applied externally to a three-storey office building at the heart of the studio complex.

The building’s west-facing elevation, which features floor-to-ceiling glazing, extends more than 70 metres in length. A solar shading solution was required to shield glazed openings from direct sunlight, particularly during the afternoon as the sun passes across the site.

For the west-facing elevation of the Belfast Harbour Studios office building, Levolux proposed an arrangement of vertical fins to provide the optimum degree of shading during the afternoons.

In total, Levolux engineered 32 vertical aerofoil-shaped fins, each measuring 400mm wide by 77mm thick, formed from a single-piece aluminium extrusion. The fins are distributed equally into two sections, either side of a main entrance, set at a pitch of 1.5 metres. For optimum shading performance, the fins are fixed at an angle of 90 degrees from the façade and extend 8.5 metres in height, from first floor to roof level.

All fins are attached at roof level, to the underside of a projecting canopy, thanks to a welded soffit bracket. This secures the vertical fins approximately 3 metres in front of the façade.

To maintain the structural integrity of the fins, an 8mm diameter stainless steel cable extends between steel columns at 7.5 metre centres. Special column brackets allow the cables to be tensioned, passing through the middle and bottom of each fin. The cables, although visually unobtrusive, were required to ensure the fins remain stable in adverse weather conditions.

For long-lasting good looks, all fins have been given a silk grey, matt powder coated finish.