Designing through materials – “Solar protection” is the title of the recent Technical Conference held at the Official Architects’ Association of Madrid (COAM). Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea, Principal and co-founder partner of AGi architects, shared our firm’s vision and experience on solar protection design using two projects as example: Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic and Three Gardens House.
Both of them include external skins pursuing various objectives in an extreme climate like Kuwait is: to optimize the natural light and ensure the necessary privacy and security.
The courtyards of Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic are carved into the building, allowing for natural light into all the clinics. The concept of the façade generating light, views and ventilation is reversed; and the courtyards are brought inwards from the perimeter creating further privacy. Examination rooms have been located towards the closed outer façade and opened to the interior courtyards in which common space flows.Working directly with manufacturers and parametric processes that generate maximum areas based on minimum thicknesses, and adaptable geometries to incorporate efficient substructures have allowed to create a contemporary mesh that connects to the cultural identity of end users. An anodized and perforated metal sheet allows sufficient light to enter, constructing a veiled threshold in between exterior and internal courtyards.
On the other hand, in Three Gardens House the solar protection design is thought to enjoy the outer space during the whole year. That’s the reason we decided to stratify the external uses according to the period of the year and the hours of the day in which these activities could be developed, and accordingly we designed three gardens: the first one is a Wet Garden on ground floor, which allows us to activate related spaces during the hottest periods; the Summer Garden stands in the coldest layer, 4 meters below street level; and the third one lies on the roof, an ideal place for winter days and hot summer nights. A perforated skin covers the Winter Garden, avoiding direct solar radiation and raising the privacy of its inhabitants as well as serving as a shelter for the vegetation inside the aggressive Kuwaiti climate.
For further information: