As a pair of buildings, the Domino Educational Centre constitutes the start of the new area’s development around the suburban railway station in Wankdorf, Bern. The façade is characterised by a specific interaction of ceiling-high windows and wall panels of different widths, with a structure reminiscent of piled-up domino pieces. The façade was equipped with external Soltis 86 sun protection screens as part of the building’s renovation. The composite material by Serge Ferrari not only achieves effective sun protection but has excellent transparency for visual appeal.
The Feusi Education Centre was built in 2008. Simultaneously, the Medi building was created. The Medi building is a centre for medical education, supported by the Wankdorf district. The two buildings which come together to form the entire Domino Educational Centre, define the new Max-Daetwyler Square and represent the start of a new urban quarter.
On sunny days before the renovation, the window areas resulted in too much heat entering the building. To improve the comfort of the rooms and reduce energy costs for the client, an effective sun protection system was conceptualised. The architects at Büro B practice chose Kästli Storen’s Sunlux 6016 for sun protection screens. These were then equipped with Serge Ferrari’s premium sun protection material, Soltis 86.
As the proportions of the windows were not ideal for roll-up sun protection due to their extremely small width relative to height, Kästli Storen developed a special version. To avoid the material looking asymmetrical when being rolled up on the roller tube, one with a larger diameter was chosen. In addition, the sun protection had to be designed for wind force class 3 (up to 49 km/h). To meet this requirement, the edges of the sewed rods were weighed down.
The composite material, Soltis 86, provided valuable support here: due to its excellent dimensional stability it winds up very symmetrically. Under critical conditions or formats it remains dimensionally stable, including when it is used on the diagonal. The special features of the materials are to be traced back to the patented Précontraint technology by Serge Ferrari which pre-stresses the material on all sides during the entire coating process, so that it does not deform during or after installation. Because of this specific stability the strengthening with side seams could be waived from the project. A further contribution is made to resist strong wind and suction forces by the material’s high mechanical and tear resistance.
The Feusi and Medi buildings were each equipped with a control activating the sun protection for each façade, i.e. only the façade screens actually affected by the solar radiation will be lowered. Exactly the same applies to the wind direction transmitter, which can be combined with a heated wind sensor, activating only the shades affected by wind.
Overall, the new sun protection system particularly convinced the users of the building who approve of the newly-achieved climate comfort, which is great in intense sun as well as in visual transparency to the outside world.