With its moveable glass facades, German family-owned company Solarlux is blurring the lines between outside and in – seamlessly merging the outdoors with indoor living spaces.
As far back as Roman times, windows have been used as an architectural design element and light source. Over the course of time and due to the evolution of technology, small panes of glass have given way to the desire for larger, movable glass facades. It stands to reason that the greater the proportion of glass, the more daylight can enter the interior. This is most desirable due to how natural light increases the feeling of wellbeing within the home and provides both positive physical and psychological effects. So, it’s no surprise that the illumination of rooms using daylight is a fundamental element of new buildings and renovations.
The surrounding external space becomes part of the interior - shaping and creating a seamless link between architecture and nature.
Bright rooms are not only healthier, visually they also appear larger. This is because large area window and facade solutions remove spatial boundaries between inside and outside. So the surrounding external space becomes part of the interior and helps to shape it – creating a link between architecture and nature. This effect is further enhanced by movable glass elements, which offer not only boundless views, but also open up space across broad areas.
Interior and exterior become one
Dr Peter Kuczia is an architect who, in many of his projects, creates a connection between inside and outside using movable glass facades. A perfect example of his work is the ‘Wormhouse’ – a detached house in Zablocie, Poland, for which he won the German Design Award. The avant-garde exterior of the building opens up completely to nature. The environment outside enters the interior, thus visually expanding the living space. This was made possible by the folding glass wall from Solarlux.
The flexible, bi-folding door can be unfolded across the entire width of the room, with the connected glass elements stowed away neatly and narrowly on the side. Even with the glazing in a closed position, spatial conventions are dissolved, creating extraordinary, almost limitless spatial impressions. This is because the filigree aluminium profiles with a face width of only 99 mm offer maximum transparency.
As an architect, it is fascinating to see how a room changes, whose glass wall can be simply folded away completely without frames or posts.
Peter Kuczia: ‘With Solarlux, you simply have great technical parameters – from sound insulation and burglary protection to very good energy efficiency. But as an architect, it is fascinating to see how a room changes, whose glass wall can be simply folded away completely without frames or posts. The effect is huge, even for me as a professional. The landscape, the forest are brought into the house.’
Solarlux’s wide range of movable window and facade solutions has also convinced other well-known international architects such as Foster + Partners. They designed the new Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong – a glazed extension to a shipping terminal that also attracts people due to the unique views of the city it offers visitors. The architectural concept allows visitors to experience the unique atmosphere of the surroundings inside the building itself. The interior-exterior relationship was implemented with the aid of the large sliding window cero. Extremely narrow profile views of only 34 millimetres, a daylight component of 98 per cent and elements up to six metres high create maximum transparency and make for generous views.
Added energy value
Glass facades and energy efficiency need not be a contradiction in terms. With well-thought-out technology, they can be highly thermally efficient all the way up to passive house level – such as the bi-folding door and the sliding window cero. And they can even serve to optimise the energy efficiency of a building. For example, Solarlux balcony and facade glazing’s full-length transparency makes room boundaries disappear, but also acts as an additional outer shell and thus as a heat buffer.
Internationally active and based in Melle, Lower Saxony, Solarlux have been pursuing their mission for over 35 years. All products are developed in-house, manufactured with passion and precision, and meet the ‘Made in Germany’ quality standard. As a partner in the planning and implementation of construction projects, this German, family-owned company specialises in providing comprehensive support to architects. Care and inventiveness are skilfully combined – always with the aim of developing the optimum solution for every project, no matter how demanding.