Southern Manufacturing

Giant Composite Sun Blind on Show in Cologne

20 January 2006

What is probably the world's biggest sun blind, a 4m high and 60m long GRP construction, will be on show at the Cologne International Furniture Fair.

The sun blind, which consists of hanging vertical slats 25 cm wide, is made of glass reinforced plastic, and is the product of a unique development partnership between Fiberline Composites, a Danish manufacturer of high-tech composites, and textile designer Astrid Krogh.

Astrid Krogh was invited by the Cologne Fair to submit ideas for the design project 'Ideal House 2006' together with three other top international design names: Dieter Rams, Joris Laarman and Stefan Diez. The giant sun blind is ornamented with patterns actually printed in the composite, and it is used by Astrid Krogh as the framework for her 'house of the future'.

""Unlike most other types of architectural divisions used to separate 'inside' and 'outside' in buildings, using composite makes it possible to change the scene and at the same time continuously create new patterns”, says Astrid Krogh. ”The building can be 'opened' and 'closed' simply by turning the slats. The pattern on the slats will simultaneously be highlighted in a variety of ways, depending on how the light strikes them. The effect in the evening is also beautiful,"" continues Astrid Krogh.

Astrid Krogh has experimented with new materials for a number of years in her design solutions for both sun protection and decoration. While working on the sun blind for the Cologne fair, it became a particular challenge to reinterpret the classic curtain through use of composite as the 'functional ornamentation'. She has used well-known textile techniques, but her collaboration with the manufacturer Fiberline has resulted in entirely new modes of expressions for products made of composite.

”With this new technique it is possible to integrate printed textile actually into the slats. This enables builder and architect to ornament their buildings with art if they want to achieve a different effect from that provided by glass,” said Finn Jernø at Fiberline Composites, who is finding considerable interest in the use of Fiberline's products for various types of sun protection. ""Many buildings incorporate large expanses of glass, and the strength of composite makes it suitable for making slats in long lengths.""


He stresses that the blind displayed at the Cologne fair is still a prototype, but he expects composite sun blinds to find their first professional application in a new sports and amenity centre at Birkerød, Copenhagen, where the exteriors will also be of composite. The centre has been designed by architects schmidt hammer lassen, and the exterior will be developed and executed by AS Henning Frøkjær.

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