“Dome Shade Demo” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Renzo Piano Building Workshop is finalizing the work on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, the Oscar Museum. The new “sphere” shaped building at the north side with a 1000 seat theatre has a semi-outdoor terrace (1.200 m²/ 13,000 ft²) with a fully transparent glazed canopy on top.

Last week Renzo Piano Building Workshop organized the “dome shade demo” in coordination with Draper Inc., the company in charge for the shading systems. With remote log in and manipulation of the time clock two indicative sun positions were simulated so the architects and planners could observe the shade positions and compare them to design and validate the programming.

Beforehand Transsolar investigated the shading effect of the proposed screen layout for 3 critical design days (winter/spring/summer). The goal was to allow as much transparency of the dome with unobstructed panoramic views and have as much shading as necessary for thermal comfort. Therefore, the shading elements are only activated when they cast a shadow on the terrace. This creates a moving shadow pattern over the course of the day, with different screens active at different hours. The analysis demonstrated that the shading layout allows good shading against high angle sun in summer and has a slightly lower shading effect against low angle sun in winter. Due to low solar radiation and low temperatures in winter, this is acceptable.

The shading demonstration gave the following positive result: “shades are generally following the design intent, pixelated as needed to follow the sun based on timeclock and seasonal variation. Only minor real-world variations were observed compared to the design model and are within reason. See attached snapshots of the simulated positions taken from the terrace during the call….”