Ceramic Facade Providing Environmental Control - Ceramic Solar Screen Of The Durban Netherlands' ...

Summary

Norman Musgrave Eaton designed the Durban Netherlands' Bank  in South Africa.  He was sensitive towards the nature of building materials and cared about craft and skills.  His application of ceramics was very creative, innovative and well researched.  Ceramic screens were not used for the aesthetic effect alone, but were the result of the architectural approach to the challenge of Durban's heat and  humidity.  The major design consideration was the climate and environment.  The emphasis was on ventilation and coolness as well as regional identity.  The solar screen is suspended from above by means of welded lengths of steel running through hollow ceramics. Additional steel rods have anchored the ceramics in its position in front of the glazed  walls and structural piers.  Eaton has succeeded in handling  ceramic materials with originality and inventiveness.  It draws attention to itself by its quality.  The clever design  and use of ceramics has humanised urban architecture and provided a better living condition in the South African environment.  The screen is composed of special fluted, hollow clay blocks (300 x 80 x 50 mm) set in regular vertical and horizontal courses, with framed vertical openings 80 mm wide and 300 mm high. The blocks are glazed to give a unique rusty green and brown colouring.  3 refs.

Primary author(s): Jekot B P

                            Natal,University

Source: Qualicer 2002. VII World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality.

            Castellon,2002,p.P.GII 145-151

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