Legat Architects

Passive Solar Shading

Advanced solar shading is one of the central organizational techniques of this project. The most noticeable characteristic of the Lee Center is the larger-on-top, smaller-on-bottom composition. One reason (among many) for this intriguing shape is its response to the sun: the wider upper levels help shade the lower levels.


Material Systems

The forward projecting volume shades an outdoor plaza and prevents sunlight from directly hitting the first floor lobby. The larger footprint of the third floor shades the floors below, and a horizontal sunshade with integrated photovoltaics overhangs the third floor. During winter, the Lee Center’s south facade welcomes the rays of the lower and tamer sun to help warm the building.

Structural Systems

The structure of an oak leaf, also the college’s logo, inspired design of the trusses. The veins in an oak leaf help to stabilize it and resist the wind’s currents and eddies, a purpose that the structural system in buildings fulfills. A structural truss in particular resists structural forces from any direction, much like a leaf resisting the wind.