If you haven’t heard of glass louvres before just think to the beautiful city of Paris, famed for its artistic heritage and buildings such as the Louvre. This museum’s architecture is highly unique: the older edifice that stands on this site dates back to 1793, while its modern glass pyramid was officially opened in 1989. This is an unusual mixture of old and new, especially in a place such as Paris, where public space is normally conformist and conservative. For this reason many people received the pyramid with displeasure – it was a shock to the eye and to the mind. But what the naysayer forgot to bear in mind was the highly practical nature of external louvres such as this one. Eventually, most extensions and additions to existing buildings end up ageing well; architects and urban planners have long studied the effects of new developments on the surrounding cityscape and on the inhabitants that use it. brise soleil take even less work to incorporate into old edifices; they can, at their most slimline, simply act like hard-wearing awnings that fold out and retract to provide more or less shade.
The idea of an architecture that responds to the changing times of the day as well as to the seasons is a truly innovative one. What’s more, responsive architecture can help companies make huge savings on energy because they almost always find themselves keeping the heating on lower, if at all, as well as keeping the air conditioning off a lot of the time. This is something we can all be glad of: it helps decrease our collective carbon footprint. And it is just generally a respectful stance to take in relation to human use of non-renewable reserves of coal, and oil and gas.
We have yet to think about one of the biggest benefits of these developments, however. External louvres are special because they help employees to feel comfortable at work. We all know that pretty much the most important thing, with regards to deriving enjoyment from our work, is getting on with our colleagues. But after that our personal, physical comfort comes into the equation. Who has ever worked much while worrying about sweat patches, or while shivering? brise soleil can’t claim to totally fix your problems of course, but it is something, along with glass louvres, that needs more investment soon.
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