The Q1 building is part of the new ThyssenKrupp Quarter in Essen, Germany. An innovative, highly efficient sun shading system was developed for large parts of the Q1 façade.
Apart from the panoramic window, this sun shading system defines the character of the Q1 building. Its sun shading elements, which look like metal feathers from afar, consist of approximately 3,150 routered vertical stalks; stainless steel double axes, into which approximately 400,000 horizontal stainless steel louvres have been screwed.
These rotatable and intertwineable elements represent an optimized system that combines the advantages of horizontal louvres (allowing light to enter) with those of vertical rotatable louvres (unrestricted views). The over-1,280 lineal motor-driven, centrally-controlled individual elements can perform the following basic operations: closed (parallel to the thermal glazed envelope), following the position of the sun (variable, perpendicular to the angle of entry of the sun), and open (the horizontal louvres intertwine over a double-axis, perpendicular to the thermal glazed envelope).
Their differentiation into trapezoidal, triangular and rectangular individual elements gives the façade a structure on which the changing play of reflecting sunlight throughout the day creates an almost artificial-looking orchestration of the architecture.
The sun shading system is also part of the building’s energy concept. It protects from overheating and, when it is closed, it directs natural light into the interior spaces. Views from the windows to the open spaces are still guaranteed due to the rotational function of the system. This system has made it possible to transfer the technical and functional necessities of a modern office working world, from a sustainability and energy efficiency point of view, into well-designed architecture.