A Most Fun Word…

The other day, on a forum I frequent, I was reminded of one of my favourite architectural words – Brise Soleil, pronounced Bree Solay.  It’s just a fun word to say, and sounds so fancy and know-it-all.  Just try it.  You feel like a professional, don’t you.  But just what is it?  Well…

It’s a fancy, French word for Sun Shade.  I know.  Sounds much less exciting like that, huh.  A brise soleil is a typically slatted panel that is attached to the outside of a building above the windows.  It certainly can add architectural interest to any building, even your own home, and they’re easy to build.  If you wish, you can get intense on the calculations dealing with sun angles at different times of the year, the extension length of your shade, and the distance between your slats, to maximize your shading to optimum performance, but really, its not that complicated.  Just think of it in terms of a triangle and use some basic trig.  Let me show you.

Just measure the height of your window, and look up the sun angle for your location here.  Then follow the formula above.  Once you have the size for your screen, just pick up some 2x2s at your local hardware/lumber store, and build a screen.  You should aim for something like this…

Admittedly, this is a nice one, courtesy of Architechnophilia, but still, I think its something we could all try.

Since so many of the readers on this post are arriving after searching the wondrous web for brise soleil diagrams, I’d like to know if my diagram has been helpful.  Please leave me some feedback; I can always come back and improve the drawing based on your comments.


Filed under Musings

3 responses to “A Most Fun Word…

  1. Pingback: Thanks Guys! | Gettin' By

  2. Joe

    Hi there, thanks for the information! How do I measure the height of the window? Is it from the bottom of the window to the top of the window? Or from the ground to the top of the window?

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