Michael Laar
Bibliographic info:
Building Simulation, 7, 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, p. 1335-1340

When modernist architecture in the tropics started in the 30´of the 20th century, air-conditioning systems and special glazing were not yet available. To realize modernist architecture in the tropics a tropical approach was necessary so as to adapt modernist design with the climatic reality of the tropics: the fins were introduced. Due to handling and maintenance problems, poor daylighting conditions and a new aesthetic in form of curtain wall facades, the fins were widely abandoned by architects and engineers. But due to the high solar radiation even new glazing technologies couldn’t resolve a mayor problem in tropical office buildings: the extremely uneven daylighting distribution, causing glare problems close to the façade and creating spots without sufficient daylighting just a couple of meters away from the façade. Radiance therefore was used to improve and develop a three-dimensional fixed system, a combination of light shelves and fins, specifying new materials to ensure the demands of daylighting in modern office buildings. The results are quite promising.