Burke Brise Soleil

The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, known as the Quadracci Pavilion, was architect Santiago Calatrava’s first built U.S. project, completed in 2001 on the shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, USA.  Perhaps its most dramatic feature is a set of “wings” – the Burke Brise Soleil (from the French for “sun breaker”). The Brise Soleil forms a movable sunscreen with a 217-foot that is raised and lowered throughout the day to provide shade to the interior of the museum, while creating a sort of kinetic urban sculpture. The brise soleil is made up of 72 steel fins, ranging in length from 26 to 105 feet, weighing 90 tons. It takes three and a half minutes for the wings to open or close. Sensors on the fins continuously monitor wind speed and direction, and whenever winds exceed 23 mph for more than three seconds, the wings close automatically.

The images show the wings in the open and closed positions.

Burke Brise Soleil

Burke Brise Soleil

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