When designing a skyscraper on the very center of the equator, one must take into account the amount of sunlight that will entire the building through the windows. How does an architect control the amount of radiant heat that enters—on the equator equally from all sides—without losing visibility of the cityscape?
One New York-based firm, REX Architecture, designed a tower right there on the equator, nominally calling it the Equator Tower. The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia building has a retractable sheath on its outside surface. The movable faux-façade acts as a kind of sunglasses shield for the harsh equatorial sun. Here’s their explanation, in full technical glory:
To maximize energy efficiency in response to 4-sided solar exposure, a retractable, PTFE-coated, glass fiber-reinforced fabric sun shade with 85% opacity protects the offices’ remarkable transparency from daylight and glare, while maintaining views. The veil is silver on the outside to reject heat, black on the inside to enhance visual legibility of the cityscape, and segmented into 4.2m shingles to allow for air circulation and ease of retraction.
Pretty incredible for an 80-story-tall building. Check it out!
See more on the REX Architecture website.