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Shopping Mall

Hallen Am Borsigturm, Berlin, Germany

Copyright: HL-Technik AG, 1997
Simulation: Georg Mischler, Bogna Ludwiczak-Osterloher
Architect: Claude Vasconi, Paris

The images on this page have been made to verify a design concept of the architect, who wanted a layer of perforated metal sheet on top of the glass roof. This layer would act as a second skin for the building, while at the same time providing the necessary amount of thermal solar protection. These simulations have helped to convince the investor to spend the additional amount of money and really build this architectural element.

The hull of this building are the old machine halls of the "Borsig Werke" in Berlin, and have been used to build steam railroad engines and other heavy machinery in the first half of this century. The structure is protected and is now beeing refurbished for its new use as a shopping mall. Allmost all of the steel construction is still original.

Roof with perforated metal sheet

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The sunlight penetrating trough the perforation of the metal sheet layer paints a soft pattern on the floor. The diffuse reflections between glass roof and second skin provide a balance between light and shadow in the space, which is very much visually pleasing to the eye. The overall impression reminds of the situation of sun shining through the leaves in the forest.

Roof with darkened glass

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To maintain the same level of thermal solar protection without the second skin, the transmissivity of the glass had to be cut in half for this simulation. As a result, the skylight has a unusually dark appearance, and reminds more of heavy clouds than of a sunny sky. The sun spots on the floor are boringly flat and display a hard contrast to the shadowed areas. Since there is no scattering of light in the roof area, the distribution of light and shadows in the space is rather harsh.

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