What are the factors that make for a well-crafted awning?

Gregor Lex: Awnings should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also durable and easily adaptable to changing weather conditions. The quality of the attachment points, moreover, is of great importance, while the forces acting on the supports must be steered.

In those respects, our sunshades are ideal. At SunSquare, we have provided fully automatic, wind-controlled awnings to over 10,000 locations around the world. We stand for the highest-quality standards and possess a tireless work ethic, both of which can be glimpsed in our triangular and rectangular sails. We offer different kinds of cloth, including that which is cleanable, water-repellent, waterproof and flame retardant. Lastly, all of our awnings utilise 1.4404 and 1.4571-grade V4A stainless steel, which provides increased resistance to corrosion and pitting.

Could you describe the full range of awnings SunSquare provides to the marketplace?

SunSquare manufactures fully automatic, radio-controlled and wind-monitored awning systems in triangular and rectangular geometry. In addition to the classic system with four or six attachment points (in the rectangular system), we also provide a cantilevered version. One of the latest additions to our product range is our new luxury ‘sail-umbrella’ fold and roll awning. SunSquare chief designer Gerald Wurz has created a true design classic with the new system, paring the sunshade down to its bare essentials while utilising the latest technological breakthroughs in the field to produce this industrial-looking design. Twistable at up to 270° with a 75m² sunscreen from a 30m² large umbrella, when the wind gets too strong the arm system will automatically fold in and the sail will curl up. Like clockwork, stainless steel gears will also limit rope deflections so that the sail ends can move evenly. The sail is made of weatherproof and UV-resistant, coated acrylic fabric or PVC mesh fabrics.

Which projects of SunSquare’s in the hospitality sector are you most proud of?

SunSquare constantly strives to push the boundaries of what is technically feasible and, together with local partners, find innovative solutions for sun protection.

As such, we’re particularly proud of our work at the Dubai Palm Jumeirah. Our task was to shade the hotel’s 500m² terrace with as few supports as possible. The solution was a SunSquare AX-II rectangular awning system using ‘flying’, hinged supports. These transmit the tensile forces via thin steel cables to floor supports below, achieving a uniform shadow area without interfering too much with the original architecture of the terrace. Meanwhile, a total of 14 solar sails are controlled centrally via a control module, which also makes it possible to individually control individual sails. That way, the local operator can create different mood pictures with the awnings, with LED lighting bestowing a little ambience at night.

How are you consulting with clients to deliver an ideal, site-specific solution?

SunSquare works in close consultation with the customer. That process starts with soliciting photos and plans of the site from the client, which are then brought together in a photo-montage. If there are no plans, we usually pursue a site visit. In some cases, we also use computer simulations to provide a visual representation of our proposal to the customer, which also gives them a real sense of the dimensions and geometry of the sails, while providing an idea of light gradients and the path of shadows over the course of the day. From there, we work on tweaking the design in collaboration with the client.