Light-Sensitive Facade in Glass and Timber Four Town Houses in Winterthur, Switzerland

Arne Quinze

Solar energy is used to heat the air in the horizontal grooves of the larch boarding in the façade. The heat is stored in the solid section of the boarding and later radiated into the interior. The angle and form of the grooves and the thickness of the timber storage mass in relation to the thermal insulation were determined by the proportion of direct and diffuse solar radiation and the different aspects of the façades. In summer, sunlight is largely reflected through the glass prisms. The ventilated cavity and the geometry of the grooves help to prevent overheating. The boarding to the three houses along the road is painted grey. In conjunction with the slightly undulating glass surface, this produces a metallic effect. The courtyard house is in natural larch.
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