Thursday, 20 September 2012

Levolux Revels at the Tower

Inspired by medieval times, the Perkin Reveller, a new indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar adjoining the Tower of London opened this autumn, creating a haven for London’s visitors, come rain or shine, thanks to a Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

Designed by Tony Fretton Architects, the restaurant and bar occupies four distinct linked buildings, arranged in a row between the Tower of London’s moat and the River Thames. Whilst back of house, kitchen and support functions are housed within the relieving arches of existing walls, front of house areas are accommodated within three new structures. These include a low entrance building, a tall dining room and bar, and a partially enclosed outdoor terrace.

Of the 160 covers the restaurant can offer, 60 are accommodated on the outdoor terrace. To maintain a comfortable ‘al fresco’ dining experience, regardless of London’s changeable weather, the outdoor terrace is covered by a series of motorised, tensioned fabric Blinds, supplied and installed by Levolux.
With an envious open outlook to the south, across the River Thames, the Perkin Reveller restaurant and bar receives prolonged exposure to the sun. While this is welcomed at most times of the year, it can become uncomfortable in the summer when visitors and staff may need to limit their exposure to the sun and shield their eyes from excessive glare levels.

As a result, Levolux was invited to develop an external Solar Shading solution that not only provides adjustable shade when the sun shines, but which can also withstand inclement weather such as rain, wind and snow.

The solution incorporates a series of motorised Tensioned Roller Blinds applied as an overhead canopy, and motorised Roller Blinds applied vertically within glazed openings.
Six overhead motorised, Tensioned Roller Blinds have been installed above the outdoor terrace within a steel frame. Each Blind is inclined to follow the roof line and has a width of 4.3 metres, with a maximum draw of 3.7 metres. The Blinds can be extended at the click of a switch to optimise daylight levels and to control glare. Fabric is maintained under constant tension, gripped between side-guides, which also act as a guide and a restraint for the bottom hem bar.

To complete the solution, six vertical motorised Roller Blinds, each with a width of 1.8 metres and a drop of almost 2.5 metres, have been applied externally, installed in front of south-facing windows. The Blinds, which operate between cable side-guides, can also be raised or lowered at the click of a switch, to limit solar heat gain and to prevent excessive glare levels.

External sensors, fitted at roof level, monitor wind speed and in the event that it exceeds a set threshold then all Blinds are programmed to be fully retracted, preventing potential damage.
All Blinds feature a durable, bright white polyester fabric which offers high UV resistance and provides a smooth ripple-free finish.

Managed by Ampersand, the Perkin Reveller, which is now open, melds ancient and modern themes within a uniquely historic setting. The application of innovative, energy efficient features, such as the motorised fabric Blinds, supplied and installed by Levolux, will ensure visitors to the Tower of London can relax in comfort, like never before.

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  1. Solar screens work whether the windows are open or closed and can be removed in winter to let the sun shine in. It is recommended to keep them in place during the winter because the screen's fabric has the advantage of reducing wind chill effect across the window's surface, thereby reducing heat loss.

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