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Münster, Germany

Short information

Building category
Office and Business, People and Architecture
Façades, Sun shading
Solar Protection CTB
Münster, Germany
Vervoorts & Schindler Architekten BDA
Feldhaus Fenster und Fassaden GmbH & Co.


Project details

Solar shading and anti-glare protection as an integrated solution

From a building height of approximately 20 metres, using variable, externally-mounted solar shading systems becomes problematic on account of the wind load. Unless the new Schüco CTB solar shading is integrated, which even performs its function in hurricane force winds. For the new head office of Brillux, the leading direct supplier in Germany of the full range of products in the paint and varnishing sector, this system proved to be the perfect solar shading solution, in conjunction with a fully compatible unitised façade.

Brillux is a company that manufactures paint and is therefore passionate about the effect of colour and colour schemes. So, it is hardly a surprise that the corporate architecture also seeks to address the topic of colour in a special way. However, the unique approach of Brillux becomes clear in the new office building in Münster - not in the variety of colours used, but in the elegance and restraint in the use of colour.

In the façade of the newbuild on the company premises in Münster, the restrained colour scheme is expressed in a functional and minimalist design, which gives prominence to the natural colours of the materials used, such as glass and aluminium, and makes very careful use of colour to emphasise the structures.

Comprehensive samples

During consultation with the client, it seemed to the architects Vervoorts & Schindler from Bochum that the best way to demonstrate the subtle differences in colour options and effects in terms of appearance and transparency was to use a sample façade. A sample façade, consisting of two unit fields including spandrels, was therefore constructed on the Brillux site. This allowed different types of solar shading insulating glass and thermal insulation glazing with rear-painted glass panes in different colours to be assessed for their effect and interplay in various light and weather conditions. External solar shading and internal anti-glare protection were key elements of this sample façade, which ultimately helped the clients to find the perfect solution in terms of function and design.

Unitised construction and module installation

A special solution based on the Schüco USC 65 unitised façade with a mullion width of 85 mm was developed for the façade. The unitised construction allowed ready-to-use façade modules, including glass, panel, metal sheet and insulation, to be built in the workshop under controlled conditions, thereby ensuring the highest levels of precision and quality in production.

The module units, measuring 2500 mm in width and 4100 mm in height, were fabricated to include the integrated installation space for the solar shading in the frame construction. The façade profiles were connected to the frames using T and corner cleats. A special box was developed for transportation, in which the units were transported lying down. When unloaded at the building site, the units weighing over 400 kg were rotated by 90° and moved directly into the façade position with the help of a crane. Here the façade units were mounted on brackets which had been fixed and secured to the carcass in advance. The edge profiles of adjacent façade units, fitted with rubber gaskets, were inserted into one another during on-site assembly. This allows for any expansion and deformation and ensures that the joints between the units meet the required level of thermal insulation, sound reduction, air and watertightness. In the corner area of the façade, special 90° all-glass outer corners were used, allowing an elegant transition without the need for internal corner mullions.

Focus on solar shading and anti-glare protection

In terms of functionality and design, solar shading and anti-glare protection were the key themes for the fully-glazed façade of the 38-metre tall Brillux building. A solution needed to be found which had to be compatible with a modern modular façade. The building height of approximately 40 metres and the exposed position of the office tower appeared to be problematic, as for conventional externally-mounted systems this would have meant restrictions to function from wind forces of 6 to 7 and above. The new Schüco CTB solar shading therefore came at just the right time for the architects, owing to its ability to be used up to gale force 11 without any problems. Even more so as, from a design perspective, it could be flush-fitted and attractively integrated in the façade system.

The special louvre blade shape provides a combination of maximum thermal insulation and solar shading, and optimum transparency for views to the outside at the same time. In this seven-storey building, the system is optimally aligned for the view downwards at an angle. At this angle, the level of transparency increases by approx. 35%. The concave inner contour of the louvre blade makes it easier for the eye to see through to the outside. The convex outer contour of the louvre blades ensures that diffuse light is reflected outside and prevents people from looking inside the building throughout the day, despite the transparency of the finely textured blind.

The high wind stability in particular allows unrestricted use in summer, meaning it is almost impossible for offices to overheat during the summer. A further advantage is the flush-fitted integration of the solar shading in the façade. After installing the façade units, the solar shading blind could be inserted into the prepared bearing brackets with the drive shaft. The blind was inserted into the guide tracks and the end stops set electronically. At the end, the outer façade panel was mounted on the hook-in point brackets, thereby closing off the installation space for the solar shading.

In addition to the external solar shading, which is automatically controlled by the building management system, an anti-glare roller blind was fitted inside. In some areas, in addition to the anti-glare roller blind, a blackout roller blind was also fitted. The space between the façade and the intermediate floor was used as the installation space for the internal anti-glare and blackout systems. The internal anti-glare roller blinds can be controlled individually by the employees to achieve the optimum lighting conditions for their work area.

Colour accents and materials

Inside the building, the design continues the themes of the façade in terms of colour and materials – with glass spandrel and balustrade panels, and a colour scheme primarily in black, white and grey, supplemented by sound reduction acoustic panels in cherry wood. Brillux Red is subtly used in the frame of the entrance door and in the design of the entrance hall. Other key colour highlights are created using light, for example by lighting up the frames and supports of the entire building in the evening and the illuminated base area. The colours from the colour spectrum, which form part of the Brillux image, appear on the rear of the black office tower, producing a rainbow effect when lit up at night.