Atria and courtyards are becoming the oasis of modern cities and create habitable spaces
Most people live in areas with fluctuating weather, and those enjoying constant warm temperatures and sunshine, are often envied by the others. Especially by those of us in regions dealing with four or more seasons (like in Europe, where we currently have not only summer but also summer+). Independent of where you live, we always try and maintain the same level of comfort, a ‘room temperature’ level of warmth. When it’s hot outside, we want coverage from the sun and cool air conditioning. When it’s cold we want the warmth of the sunlight and heat – preferably we would like to be outside while enjoying ideal temperatures.
ETFE atria flexible applications
That is where atria come in place. They are found in a variety of architectural applications, both old and new. They cover the common areas of a restaurant, shopping centers, shared office space or a variety of other buildings which connect to form a community area. Ideally, these covered areas expand their use throughout each season (like Devonshire Square in London or the Te Awa mall in New Zealand), or to enable being outside in regions with generally extreme weather conditions. Nothing feels better than the sunshine on your face on a cold winter day, while enjoying your lunch in a cozy temperature. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, you feel the sun, and have the feeling that you are outdoors, while spending time in a comfortable indoor air conditioned space (like at The Avenues in Kuwait). When we have extreme conditions one way or the other we often want middle ground or the best of both worlds.
Atria with Texlon® ETFE
We have a solution for atrium areas that are not covered or fully enclosed, or that are covered with a material that doesn’t allow for light transmission, Texlon® ETFE. One of the best ways to create an outdoor atmosphere, while controlling light transmission is to include an ETFE enclosure over your atrium. Whether employees are in an atrium eating lunch, kids are playing in a common area or restaurant goers opt to sit outside, there is no better solution than providing them with an area covered with ETFE to help mimic the outside atmosphere with natural lighting, while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures.
Additional comfort through the roof
Enclosing atria with ETFE isn’t something that can only be done on new buildings, it can also be done with refurbishment projects. A transparent roof can highlight the beautiful old features, while connecting them with modern design and functionality (take a look at the Herderbau here). If your current building is reaching its limits, why not add space by covering existing areas or connecting it to a building next door with a sustainable material that guarantees comfort? Not only does enclosing Atria with ETFE create comfort for the individuals, it also plays a huge role in the reduced heating and cooling cost of a building. A roof above an open atrium reduces four walls in connection with the outside to a one single highly insulated roof. And aside from temperature playing a role in comfort, ETFE also supports acoustic comfort. You don’t have the reverberation of traditional cladding materials, so you can actually hear yourself think when you are in an ETFE covered atria.