Norbert Kautzky, Gerald Wurz
In The Shade of Design
Architecture for Shade. With this catchphrase the Austrian company SunSquare® developed a sun and rain protection system for large balconies, roof gardens and terraces.
Interestingly, a SunSquare® acts as an architectural design element, as each installation is individually adapted to unique construction conditions and the customer’s desires. Following the worldwide success of this system comes the next step: “Urban Knots®” – movable weather protection and furniture elements for public spaces.
In 1994 Norbert Kautzky and Mag. Gerald Wurz developed the SunSquare®. The fundamental idea: a Sun Sail which would avoid the construction and design deficiencies of traditional awnings. It would be able to swing freely, without applying pressure along a house wall and without the need to be connected to a large construction. It, nevertheless, needed to reach a usable surface size and be able to withstand the necessary tension.
SunSquare® sun and rain protection consists of triangular sails, which are electrically rolled and unrolled over a central shaft. Each system is individually designed based upon a given projects’ unique building conditions, paying especially close attention to the orientation of the sun and the prevailing wind direction.
Nature itself is the model for the SunSquare® support system: in a storm, the willow bends, but the oak breaks. This is why steel springs are used and their tension is so calculated that the sail material can be taxed up to its limit. Wind strain can tear out the anchoring of a rigid, fixed system, whereas the SunSquare® can flex up to 1/2 meter. The SunSquare® is additionally designed to automatically roll the Sail in if the wind speed exceeds its maximum limit.
The individual design and the flowing grace of the Sun Sails turn the SunSquare® into an architectural design element that is appropriate not only for modern structures, but also for historic and landmark buildings. Some examples of installations include “Austria House” at the Bienale, “Germany House” at the 2004 Olympic Games, Palmenhaus Vienna and the Palais Lichtenstein.
The still young SunSquare® brand is based on a sense of élan, innovation and timeless elegance. The key words of the brand can be boiled down to “architecture, design and luxury”. This positioning in a necessarily elevated price segment led to an alliance with other design and luxury oriented brands in garden design and interior architecture. At trade fairs SunSquare®, joins with other up market brands, such as Bulthaup, Garten+Raum and Massi, to present their lines to discriminating, lifestyle oriented customers under the group title “formel 6 plus”.
Since the sale of the first systems in 1995 SunSquare® has expanded throughout Europe, as well as overseas. Outside of its home market of Austria, SunSquare® works through trade partners and licensees, who receive intensive training from SunSquare®.
At present SunSquare® is represented in the following countries: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Croatia and Australia.
The Future: “Urban Knots®”
For cafes, restaurants and hotels, for events and private functions, SunSquare®’s islands of shade can now be flexibly and temporarily installed with the “Urban Knots®” system. This innovative construction dispenses with traditional anchoring systems, allowing a wide range of different arrangements to be erected and dismantled in the shortest possible time.
Elaborate foundations are replaced by zinc plated steel elements.
L-, I-, T- and X-shaped elements can be combined to suit a multitude of design ideas. They hold not only the Sun Sail floor supports, but also glass partition systems. The feet of the system are height adjustable to compensate for any surface unevenness. The elements are designed to be transportable in a conventional truck, are stackable to save space and can be quickly and easily constructed and dismantled.
Designer: Norbert Kautzky Gerald Wurz