Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Levolux delivers at Central St Giles

When acclaimed architect, Renzo Piano designed Central St Giles, a new 500,000 sq ft, mixed use development in central London, he created a bold scheme, with a number of distinctive, colour coordinated features, including a custom arrangement of Louvres and Blinds, from Levolux.

Comprising a 15-storey residential block and 11-storey commercial block around a central piazza, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated development breathes new life into a neglected part of London, making a striking addition to the city’s skyline.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was chosen to develop a unique solution, incorporating its external Screening Louvres, Custom Doors and Gates and its internal High Performance Roller Blinds.

A new custom Louvre, with a ‘Z’ profile and a 80mm pitch, has been applied extensively at ground floor level on the commercial block, with a total surface area of 510m2. With their continuous appearance and neat mitred corners, the Louvres create an attractive, ventilated facade, concealing unsightly service areas from view.

To maintain a seamless aesthetic at street level, Levolux engineered two giant, folding loading-bay doors, each measuring 7.6 metres wide by 5 metres high, based on an original design by Renzo Piano. Comprising a steel box section frame hung on heavy duty hinges, the doors are externally clad with ‘Z’ profile Louvres to blend in with the surrounding facade. The doors are designed to swing back and fold neatly away into recesses, allowing quick and easy access for deliveries and maintenance vehicles.

To facilitate safe and secure access to the underground car-park via two purpose-built car lifts, Levolux engineered and installed a custom aluminium motorised sliding gate, measuring 9400mm wide by 5300mm high. The sliding gate, designed by Renzo Piano, with its clean, modern appearance, moves smoothly, suspended from seven colour-coordinated yellow rollers. An intelligent control system prevents the gate from operating if physical force is applied or if an obstruction is detected and a manual over-ride ensures it can be operated in the event of a power failure.

The Screening Louvres, folding loading bay doors and sliding gate installed at ground floor level are all finished in a coordinated, cool grey semi-gloss powder coating, which contrasts with the red orange terracotta tiles above.

Elsewhere, at ground floor level on the residential block, Levolux installed a bank of steel, ‘Z’ profile, stackable Louvres, with a 50mm pitch, to conceal a naturally ventilated area, in which plant and equipment can operate efficiently. To complement the overall scheme, the steel Louvres were finished in a coordinated red orange powder coating, to match the terracotta cladding on adjacent elevations.

Completing the solution, Levolux installed 2,891 of its High Performance Roller Blinds throughout the commercial block, to control light and glare levels for office workers. The manually operated, bead chain Roller Blinds feature a white grey fabric with an openness factor of 5%.

The Central St Giles development is an iconic example of urban eco-architecture and has dramatically transformed the area around it. With its distinctive coloured terracotta tiles and bespoke Louvres, Gates and Blinds from Levolux, it demonstrates an effective blend of form and function.

For more information, visit http://www.levolux.com/.

Levolux takes Infiniti to the Big Apple

The Grand Hyatt New York’s bar and restaurant was recently renovated and now feature a new contemporary decor, with an illuminated bar and an ultra modern Solar Shading solution, by Levolux.

Shedding its 80’s glitz, mirrored walls and highly polished stainless steel fixtures, the hotel is going through a dramatic overhaul, as part of a $65 million refurbishment project. The iconic New York hotel, conveniently situated adjacent to Grand Central Station, is being transformed, with 1,311 updated luxury guest rooms, a new ballroom and a refurbished bar and restaurant.

Designed by Bentel and Bentel, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, known as New York Central, is cantilevered over 42nd Street and boasts unique views of the bustling sidewalk below. While its sloping glazed roof is an attractive feature, allowing daylight to penetrate the building at low levels, it increases the risk of unwanted solar heat gain and glare. To help control light, heat and glare, while retaining impressive views outside, Levolux proposed a custom Solar Shading solution, based on its Infiniti Fin system.

The Infiniti Fin system is an innovative, flexible Solar Shading system that accommodates a wide range of Louvres, which can be secured internally or externally and fixed horizontally or vertically. With unique concealed fixings and an integral stainless steel locking plate, Louvres can be fixed at almost any angle and can be cantilevered past the last vertical support.

77 extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, measuring 150mm wide, were fixed horizontally above the bar and restaurant, suspended under an inclined glazed roof from existing steelwork. The Aerofoil Fins, each spanning 2750mm, create a striking continuous aesthetic of blades at high level, running along the length of the building.

Additional extruded aluminium Louvres are to be incorporated elsewhere, fixed vertically to form an attractive three sided Louvre screen. Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system, with its horizontal and vertical Aerofoil Fins, successfully blends form and function to create an attractive, yet highly efficient shading system.

With their cool grey powder coated finish and stainless steel fixings, Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system is virtually maintenance free and like all Levolux solar shading systems, it is backed by a three year warranty.

The completed Solar Shading solution at the Grand Hyatt New York, not only creates a cool new look that will appeal to discerning visitors and guests during the day or into the night, but also ensures the venue uses less energy to keep it cool when the sun shines.

To find out more, visit http://www.levolux.com/.

Levolux is flying high in Dublin

Dublin Airport’s new 75,000m2 Terminal 2 building is visually striking and extremely energy efficient, thanks in part to an impressive installation of Louvres, courtesy of Levolux.

Designed by a team consisting of Pascall + Watson architects, Arup and Mace, Terminal 2 has an attractive curved facade and creates an exciting new gateway to Ireland. The 3-storey terminal building is capable of handling 15 million passengers each year, with 54 check-in desks, 40 shops and 19 new aircraft parking stands.

The check-in hall benefits from full-height glazing on east and west-facing elevations, flooding the area with natural daylight. Other areas where passengers dwell, such as the departures lounge, baggage reclaim and security, also benefit from natural daylight, arriving through a south-facing glazed elevation and numerous skylights.

To ensure the building is not exposed to excessive solar heat gain and glare, Levolux was invited to develop a comprehensive external Solar Shading solution, drawing on its significant experience gained from similar projects in this sector.

The custom solution, which has been applied throughout the main terminal building, on an adjoining combined heat and power facility and on a link bridge, comprises extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, Fabricated Fins, in addition to Ventilation and Screening Louvres.

On exposed south, east and west-facing glazed elevations of the terminal building, Levolux installed perforated aluminium Fabricated Fins horizontally in vertical stacks. The Fins, measuring 690mm in width, provide effective shading, while the perforations are engineered to allow outside views and to maximise the use of daylight. The Fins vary in length, with clear spans of 3 metres and are cantilevered up to 1 metre past vertical supports at each end.

Across the building’s south-facing elevation, stretching 160 metres, the roof has been extended to form a projecting shading canopy incorporating three aluminium Aerofoil Fins, each engineered with a structural central core. The Fins are arranged horizontally, increasing in width from 500mm along the front edge to 700mm at the rear. Bracing at 3 metre intervals, allows the Fins to achieve spans of up to 9 metres.

At roof level, above a 9 metre wide glazed channel which stretches 130 metres along the spine of the building from north to south, Levolux installed its 500mm wide aluminium Aerofoil Fins. The Fins are arranged horizontally, running from east to west, fixed at 666mm centres, each with a clear span of 4.5 metres. While Fins exposed to the north and south are set at an angle of 25° degrees, those in the centre are angled at 39°, allowing more daylight to penetrate the core of the building.

Elsewhere, the same 500mm wide aluminium Aerofoil Fins have been used to shade six separate skylights set into the roof of the terminal building. The skylights are all 3.2 metres wide and vary in length from 27 to 45 metres. The Fins are grouped into 6 rows, with clear spans of up to 3.2 metres, fixed between aluminium side-plates.

To complete the installation, Levolux utilised its ‘Z’ profile and aerofoil-shaped Screening Louvres, and its ‘S’ profile Ventilation Louvres. In total, Levolux provided more than 1,600m2 of Louvres, applied to the main terminal building, the adjoining combined heat and power facility and on the link bridge. The Louvres combine effectively to create an attractive, protected facade, behind which mechanical and electrical plant can operate efficiently. The Louvred sections incorporate numerous single and double doors, which are fitted with panic bars.

Colm Moran, Chief Asset Management & Development Officer for the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) paid tribute to Levolux for their contribution on the project, commenting “The DAA is very satisfied with the shading and ventilation solution provided by Levolux for Terminal 2, which delivers a sustainable, energy efficient product that blends neatly with the overall architectural impression of the building.”

All external shading Louvres have been given a natural anodised finish, complementing the building’s aluminium cladding. In contrast, the Screening and Ventilation Louvres have been given a subtle light grey powder coating.

The attention to detail demonstrated by Levolux impressed Pascall + Watson Project Director, Paul Ruggles, who commented “Levolux was very accommodating of our precise requirements for large, perforated louvres to go onto the Check-In Building and we were delighted with the result."

With its futuristic, award winning design, featuring a state-of-the-art external Solar Shading solution from Levolux, Terminal 2 is equipped to deliver a better passenger experience service and will provide a welcome boost to the Irish economy.

For more information, visit http://www.levolux.com/.