A Clockwork Shade

As designed by the Adaptive Building Initiative, in collaboration with metals fabricator A. Zahner Co., the steel layers within the kinetic shading system's panels can be rotated to assume patterns of varying visual complexity and opacity. The simplest arrangement, allowing the greatest amount of light, is a straightforward alignment of the layers ...

But as the system operates the metal sheets move out of alignment ...

Allowing them to achieve a point of maximum opacity. Depending on the pattern cut into the metal sheets and the number of layers used, each system panel can provide opacity ranging from 10 percent to 85 percent.

The steel sheets used in the kinetic shading system can have different geometric patterns cut into them, allowing for different aesthetics and system performance.

Exploded Axonometric: In the installation at Stony Brook, the systems panels use five layers of sheets; the interior three sheets shift positions, while the exterior sheets remain fixed.

Because the system's panels are not yet weathertight, those installed at Stony Brook were placed behind the Simon Center's glass curtainwwall.

By selectively blocking light instead of diffusing it altogether as a shade would, the system's panels create visual interest in a building's interior.

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