Kinetic Facade: Awesome Adaptive Window Shading System


Buildings are forever in tension, being static objects in a dynamic world – light conditions in particular shift predictably yet variably throughout the day, week, season and year, in turn demanding an adaptive response.

dynamic facade shading

Thus the Penumbra system by Tyler Short, designed to offer a kinetic and mechanical solution to a problem that would otherwise be nearly impossible to solve with static architectural components: providing shading across a building facade for both low evening sun and high afternoon sun conditions.”

adaptive facade interior gears

The constituent parts can shift side to side while in their vertical orientation, then turn on a proverbial dime to form a horizontal shading solution, all creating a way to deflect (and let in) light while maintaining control over views.

kinetic shade facade system

More from the designer: “Our solution was a series of vertical shading louvers, that can independently pivot to maximize solar protection, and when the sun reaches an altitude in which vertical louvers would be ineffective, completely rotate upwards to act as a horizontal shading element and light shelf. All of the mechanical components and gear ratios were fully resolved, and the result is a hand or computer-operated system that creates a beautiful undulating form across the facade.”