Henning Larsen Architects’ new façade is based on a two-layered window concept, which originally has its roots in Germany. The façade concept is characterised by a relatively large space between the inner and outer glass panes, which creates an air space in every window element. The air space ensures efficient operating economy, energy cost savings and better acoustics and indoor climate.
“When working with architecture, it is important to understand that the façade is not merely an overcoat, dressing the building. The façade is of crucial importance to the building’s energy consumption, economy, the visual indoor climate and the identity of the client” says Steen Elsted Andersen, constructing architect with Henning Larsen Architects and a part of the team behind the new façade concept.
Steen Elsted Andersen holds many years of experience with development of facades for various projects with very different demands for aesthetics and performance. One of the greatest challenges in relation to the design of Nordea’s extensive glass façade has been to keep the sun out, so that the employees are not exposed to excessive heat or uncomfortable reflections of light at their work stations. In the new façade concept, sun screens can be installed in the air space between the two layers of glass panes.
“This is an enormous advantage. The rough winds of the Amager Commons make it close to impossible to place sun screens on the exterior of the building. With our solution, the lifespan of the façade is prolonged, and the maintenance costs are lowered”, explains Steen Elsted Andersen.
The custom-designed façade elements open from the inside, enabling maintenance of the airspace and the integrated solar protection system.
Apart from the solar protection, the project team has spent much time selecting the glass types for the new façade. The glass that has been used in the making of the glass elements is of a the highest quality and has a very high content of iron. This ensures a natural representation of the daylight and the building’s surroundings. This is, according to Steen Elsted Andersen, particularly important for office buildings, in which we spend so many of our waking hours.
“The interplay between indoors and outdoors is of major importance to our experience of a building. In the work with the façade it is very much about achieving the best colour representation of daylight indoors. It is about ensuring optimal lighting of the workspace and a view in which the grass is green and the sky is blue, and not smothered by a greenish hue.”