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Compact retractable shade canopy extends livable space

OFPANZ Awards for Excellence, Projects | April 12, 2024 | By:

A recent addition to a private home in Queenstown, New Zealand, is a highly articulated addition that provides comfortable protection from sun and heat, inspired by the country’s nautical heritage.

The shade sail for this residence borrows from its aquatic sibling with a single rotating spar that pulls the two opposite corners of the fabric in on itself to reduce the fabric surface exposure. Essentially, when responding to solar gain, it changes from a fully extended four-corner square of fabric into a tightly wrapped tube perpendicular to the moving fabric wedges. The sail is fabricated from Soliday® Nano in Havana Brown color.

“The client requested a stylish, motorized retractable shade to cover an outdoor seating area,” says SunCraft NZ, the company that installed the work. “It complements the architectural design and does not have too many external poles at ground level.” In fact, it has only one outrigger pole (one corner of the square farthest from the house) and the fabric is attached to the house at the other three corners. All the metal spars are powder coated to match the house window joinery and the fabric color matches the brownish COR-TEN® steel exterior cladding.

The shade is operated by remote control and synced with a wind sensor that automatically retracts the sails if the ambient wind reaches speeds of 40km/h. The outrigger pole can be adjusted in height by a winch that allows the sail to be lowered in synchronization with sun movements throughout the day ensuring shade coverage in the late afternoon.

The project was recognized with a 2023 OFPANZ Award of Excellence.

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