Light, wind-safe sunshades from manufacturer MHZ restrict both glare and heat-gain in the tallest glass-wrapped properties, while retaining their natural light and high-end view.

Close-up of the facade of the Upper West Berlin: One immediately understands how the MHZ system ‘s_enn’ aesthetically complements the architecture with its restrained design

MHZ lets in the light | News

Close-up of the facade of the Upper West Berlin: One immediately understands how the MHZ system ‘s_enn’ aesthetically complements the architecture with its restrained design

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There are not many decisions that can be as formative for a building as those concerning sun shading. Why? Because these elements are located precisely at the interface between inside and outside: They become surfaces that shape the façade in a similarly striking way as the rooms inside.

One could tell the story of architecture by looking at ever-larger glass surfaces – Mies van der Rohe was undoubtedly a pioneer with his Barcelona Pavilion, the Villa Tugendhat or his Farnsworth House. But large glass surfaces also create challenges: for aspects such as glare protection and heat generation, solutions must be found that fit the aesthetics of a building.

With its 33 storeys, the building is one of the tallest in Berlin. At a height of almost 110 m, the Skybar One Lounge offers a breathtaking view – even when the sunshade is lowered

MHZ lets in the light | News

With its 33 storeys, the building is one of the tallest in Berlin. At a height of almost 110 m, the Skybar One Lounge offers a breathtaking view – even when the sunshade is lowered

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The manufacturer MHZ has dedicated itself to precisely such solutions and has long been appreciated by international architects and interior designers for its formally restrained and technically sophisticated sun shading products. This is because they correspond convincingly with a variety of different architectural languages.

As is often the case, experience is a value that should not be underestimated: it all began over 90 years ago with the manufacture of curtain rails and curtain rods. Today, MHZ is an internationally active company that remains family-run, with a product range that includes interior sun protection as well as numerous options for exterior shading.

Due to its high transparency, ‘s_enn’ maintains visual contact with the outside world (top) – just like other MHZ products, it guarantees both: sun protection and clear views

MHZ lets in the light | News

Due to its high transparency, ‘s_enn’ maintains visual contact with the outside world (top) – just like other MHZ products, it guarantees both: sun protection and clear views

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MHZ’s metal blinds offer a number of advantages that are quickly explained. They offer a special form of sun protection: one that allows transparency even when closed. Their materials – aluminium or stainless steel – visually match modern buildings and enhance them aesthetically. Their roll-formed profiles result in a low weight. And due to their wind load capacity, they are also suitable for tall buildings.


MHZ’s metal blinds offer a special form of sun protection: one that allows transparency even when closed


So let's take a closer look at the three variants of metal blinds that MHZ manufactures. First of all, there is the s_enn model: the curtain profile was developed together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg. It is made of stainless steel and ensures a strong solar energy reduction in buildings.

Timelessly simple and filigree – sun protection that matches modern architecture. The ‘s_onro’ aluminium curtain (middle) functions according to the roller shutter principle, with staggered slats creating an attractive effect both inside and out (bottom)

MHZ lets in the light | News

Timelessly simple and filigree – sun protection that matches modern architecture. The ‘s_onro’ aluminium curtain (middle) functions according to the roller shutter principle, with staggered slats creating an attractive effect both inside and out (bottom)

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Due to its high transparency, s_enn maintains visual contact with the outside world. The narrow installation dimensions result in a small winding diameter and here, too, roll-formed profiles ensure a comparably low weight. All in all, s_enn can be regarded as a classic of the MHZ range: timelessly simple, formally reduced and filigree – yet durable, wind-resistant and robust.

MHZ’s website provides a thorough idea of how the series works in reality. Here you can see s_enn installed in the Upper West Berlin building – and immediately understand how it aesthetically complements the architectural design. With its 33 storeys, the building, realised in 2016, is one of the tallest in the German capital, installing s_enn in its Skybar One Lounge at a height of almost 110 m, providing breathtaking views over Berlin – even when the sunshade is down.

The 140 m-high hybrid building ‘One Forty West’ is located in Frankfurt's Senckenberg Quarter and makes use of MHZ’s ‘s_enro’ external sun protection system

MHZ lets in the light | News

The 140 m-high hybrid building ‘One Forty West’ is located in Frankfurt's Senckenberg Quarter and makes use of MHZ’s ‘s_enro’ external sun protection system

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The second model, s_onro, is an exterior aluminium blind. It functions according to the roller shutter principle and shields the interior from direct sunlight from an inclination angle of 20 degrees, but still provides the interior with daylight. How much privacy protection s_onro creates is freely selectable, just as is the colour of the curtain – which is available in five standard shades, ranging from white to silver to anthracite.

Sustainable sun protection (top): ‘s_enro’ is made of recyclable material. The rollable metal blinds (bottom) impresses with its filigree design and fulfils the requirements for wind-stable and efficient sun protection

MHZ lets in the light | News

Sustainable sun protection (top): ‘s_enro’ is made of recyclable material. The rollable metal blinds (bottom) impresses with its filigree design and fulfils the requirements for wind-stable and efficient sun protection

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The manufacturer's third model is called s_enro – it is the latest in the programme and is characterised by a particularly filigree design. This is enabled by small angular diameters and roll-formed profiles that have a homogeneous, precisely perforated surface. The aluminium micro louvres of s_enro can be colour-coordinated with the respective building, allow plenty of daylight into the rooms and at the same time protect against excessive heat build-up.

The Slideshow, Virtual Room and Configuration sections on MHZ’s website are particularly exciting: they offer a precise impression of how the various systems look functionally and aesthetically. In any case, their advantages become as clear as day during a virtual visit.

Upper West Berlin | Architecture: Langhof Architektur und Stadtentwicklung, KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten; Client: Strabag Real Estate

One Fourty West | Architecture: cyrus moser architects; Client: Gemeinschaftsunternehmen der Commerz Real AG und der Groß & Partner, Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

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