As part of the sixth annual Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop (ACAW), ARO collaborated with Heintges Consulting Architects & Engineers, and the fabricator TriPyramid, to explore the use of terra cotta in high-performing building envelopes.
Inspired by the organic forms of vine structures and the geometry of traditional diamond-patterned espalier trees, the team developed V-Soleil, a curtainlike terra cotta brise soleil. The system is made of interlocking V-shaped glazed terra cotta modules, supported on a double-layer tension net structure to create a diamond-shaped screen.
Depending on the solar orientation of the façade, the module’s position can change to optimize its shading capability. The green glazing, with its dark brown clay body strategically exposed, reference the organic inspirations.
The team also explored the connection between the terra cotta unit and the cable, looking for ways to replace individual units without disassembly of the whole system.
V-Soleil builds upon ARO’s commitment to elevate simple materials through scale, pattern, and texture, and activate their properties through thoughtful fabrication.
Heintges, which specializes in high-performing façades, is currently working with ARO on the Green-Wood Cemetery Education Center.