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Aerofoil Fins by Levolux


The Bay House in New York is a house of the future, embracing all that is good about eco-friendly, sustainable living, including geothermal heating, high performance insulation, and an innovative Solar Shading solution, courtesy of Levolux.

Designed by Roger Ferris and Partners, this detached, five bedroom residence occupies an enviable position on the Long Island coastline, offering unobstructed, panoramic views across Sag Harbour. Despite its idyllic, tranquil beach setting, it may be surprising to know that it lies less than 100 miles from the busy streets of Manhattan.

The spacious 6,400 sq foot, two-storey house comprises two staggered rectangular blocks, linked on both levels. These areas accommodate an open plan kitchen with adjacent dining and living areas at ground floor level, with numerous bedrooms and ancillary spaces at first floor level.

The house is aligned parallel with the shoreline to the north, with access from the south. A separate two-storey pool house is linked by a timber decked walkway at first floor level. The walkway straddles sheltered outdoor living space, which leads to an inviting pool area.

Floor to ceiling glazing extends continuously along north and south-facing elevations, opening the house up for occupants to absorb the spectacular coastal views. It also helps to maximise daylight levels and is used effectively to connect interior and exterior living spaces.

While these benefits are considerable, there are also significant drawbacks with using a glazed curtain walling system in such an exposed location. These include risks of excessive solar heat gain and glare, and a lack of privacy.
To overcome these drawbacks, architects turned to Levolux, a world-leading Solar Shading specialist, to devise a custom shading and screening solution.

The solution comprises external aluminium Aerofoil Fins, each measuring 150mm deep by 38mm thick, fixed horizontally in vertical stacks between aluminium side-plates. Extending across glazing on north and south-facing elevations, vertical stacks of Fins run along the outer edge of a 1700mm wide timber decked walkway, which creates a buffer zone, surrounding the house on ground and first floor levels.

On the south-facing elevation the Fins extend across the full height of exposed living areas, scaling almost 7 metres in height. Elsewhere the Fins applied at first floor level are interrupted on north and south-facing elevations by a clear opening at eye level, measuring almost 15 metres wide by 1 metre high. Along these sections the Fins fixed at low level create an effective balustrade, in addition to satisfying specific shading and screening requirements.

The balustrade sections, which continue across the walkway connecting the two buildings, are topped by an Aerofoil Fin which performs as a guard/hand rail. The Fin may appear the same as others, but it was specially extruded to withstand greater loads to satisfy stringent safety requirements.

All Aerofoil Fins, side-plates and support arms were supplied by Levolux, engineered from extruded aluminium. All aluminium components were given a clear anodised finish to create an attractive contrast with the timber cladding and decking, while complementing the curtain walling system.

The completed installation of Levolux’s Aerofoil Fins, works effectively in a variety of ways to satisfy the client’s challenging brief. This has helped to deliver an energy efficient, stylish and comfortable property, without compromising on outward visibility, daylighting or privacy levels.

Aluminium solar shading and screening is usually associated with commercial or public buildings, but as demonstrated at Bay House in Long Island, the argument for its inclusion in residential developments is quite compelling.

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