Specified for the new Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences facility at Macquarie University, Verosol Ambience roller blinds are helping the building’s innovative timber structure shine through the extensively glazed walls.
Macquarie University’s Ainsworth Building is a purpose-built facility, designed by well-known local studio Architectus to house the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Completed in 2020, the building includes a 200-seat lecture theatre, two Harvard Case Study style teaching spaces and general team-based learning spaces.
Architecturally, the most striking thing about the Ainsworth Building is its use of timber and glass. Apart from the high-end timber finishes included internally on all four levels, the material (or more specifically, CLT and Glulam) is also used in the building’s core.
Used in conjunction with extensive glazing, which constitutes all four external walls, this structural timber is there for all to see. “At night, the full-height glazing allows the building to glow like a lantern, radiating the warmth of the timber structure inside,” says Sam Morris, associate at Architectus.
Then, during the daytime, the “high-performance glass facade brings maximum light into the narrow site, creating a visible link from learning spaces to the Hospital and reaffirming the biophilic connection between building occupants and the native bushland campus,” adds Morris.
None of this would have been practical without effective shading systems. The glare and related heat gains associated with this amount of glass required the incorporation of effective, reliable blinds.
The architects chose Verosol Ambience motorised roller blinds with both 203 SilverScreen Performance fabric and 710 Aspect fabric. Specified together in this way, these twin fabrics deliver the best of both worlds.
The 203 SilverScreen Performance fabric, a semi-transparent metallised material that is part of the company’s signature range, provides excellent vision out along with an unparalleled solar reflectance of 82%; while the 710 Aspect works as a complete blockout solution.
At the Ainsworth building, the blinds are fully automated. Incorporating Somfy motors and operated via a building management system, they are programmed to track the movement of the sun and raise and lower accordingly.
In addition, all occupants have the ability to override this system and operate them manually if required.
Project: Macquarie University’s Ainsworth Building
Location: Macquarie Park, NSW Australia
- Ambience Heavy Duty Motorised Roller Blinds
- Ambience Motorised Roller Blinds
- Motorised Blind Automation- Somfy KNX Blind Control System
- Integration with Building Management System
- 203 SilverScreen Performance Vision
- 710 Aspect Blockout
- Architecture & Design Sustainability Awards, Education and Research Award, 2021
- Australian Institute of Architects (NSW) Awards, Educational Architecture Award, 2021
- Australian Timber Design Awards, People’s Choice Award, 2020