Jodrell Laboratory

A new extension to the Jodrell Laboratory at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, required a solar shading solution to protect the world-famous collection of plant and fungi specimens housed inside.

In order to improve the building’s environmental efficiency, and protect it from solar heat gain, Levolux was invited to develop a vertically stacked timber fin solar shading solution.

Manufactured in Western Red Cedar for its all-weather resilience and aesthetic properties, the large timber fins were installed over the Wolfson Wing’s exterior window bays to prevent the sun hitting the glass. Natural light is still filtered into the building, and good outward visibility retained, whilst energy costs associated with air conditioning are reduced.

Levolux fitted a vertical stack of both straight and curved fins to each of the 14 bays of the structure. The curved timber louvres were cut at a compound angle, enabling them to follow continuously around the curved line of the building. This ensures clean exterior lines at all times, with the fins sitting on the same angled plane as the straight fins.

Within each bay, the 300mm wide timber fins were split vertically into two groups: one containing five fins, the other six. Levolux walk-on Brise Soleil was also installed at the top as well as between the two groups for additional shading and to enable easy access for window cleaning.