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15. February 2017

Solar protection façade: woven nerve pathways as a showcase

The ICE Glasgow (Imaging Centre of Excellence) at South Glasgow University Hospital in Scotland is a medical research institute that combines neurosurgical expertise from the university, industry and health service sectors. For their façade design, BMJ Architects from Glasgow selected a 'Lago' metal mesh solar protection façade from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG. Its zigzag structure visualizes the dynamic interaction of human nerve pathways.

With around 600,000 residents, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is considered a hub of innovation and technology. Scotland’s new center of excellence, the ICE Glasgow, is making a major contribution to this. Boasting total floor space of around 2,010 square meters, the neurosurgical research institute offers the latest technology for screening and treatment of strokes and cardiovascular diseases. Around 260 new employees, primarily research and care staff, are set to extend Glasgow’s leading position in the field of neurosurgery even further. The characteristic design feature of the five-story building is the exterior façade with 41 solar protection elements made of stainless steel mesh. These elements form a zigzag pattern that encapsulates the building. With a keen eye on the holistic sustainability of the building, however, BMJ Architects placed just as much emphasis on the functional properties of this building material as its decorative aspects. Indeed, the GKD metal mesh not only impresses with its effective solar protection and exceptional aesthetics, but also through the energy-efficient climate and energy management it facilitates. The mesh panels guarantee nonglare workplaces, while still granting unrestricted views of the world outside. They also allow use of natural daylight and natural ventilation of the rooms, which in turn creates a pleasant working environment and significantly improves staff performance. Power consumption is also reduced, since there is less need for both lighting and air conditioning. While the mesh panels on the front façade run vertically, they were installed in a diamond-like pattern on the sides of the building and are therefore reminiscent of the double helix associated with human DNA.

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