Many architects face the problem of what to do when site or other factors force the major axis of a building to face east and west. The solution for GSW Headquarters in Berlin by sauerbruch-hutton of Berlin was to deal with the problem face on.
The west facade is a double skin which acts a thermal buffer, and a thermal flue which draws fresh air through the building.
Arup who engineered the building claims the goal to achieve "energy savings of 30-40% in comparison to an ordinary building." And because of the cross ventilation created by the flue effect, mechanical ventilation is no longer required 70% the year.
The second layer of automation is the system of colored blinds within the cavity on the west facade. The automation can be overridden by the occupants, but protects against the direct sunlight in the afternoon.
Image from Flickr: Uploaded by runningforasthma
The plan demonstrates how the new 515,000 sf connects to the existing building with the new core leaving a 36 foot clear lease span. This depth with the large glass area results in excellent daylighting characteristics.
(Note: Plan image north is down)
Lawrence Berkley Labs