Exterior fins cast color changing shadows

A LEED Silver Certified project

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Project Details

Columbus, OH


Vision Glass



Type of Glass



In an effort to provide the Ohio State University (OSU) South Campus with a long-term, efficient, and sustainable solution for chilled water production and distribution, Ross Barney Architects envisioned a "House for Energy". This concept initiated the LEED Silver Certified project, now known as the Central Chiller Plant.

Over 200 precast panels were created using 11 different panel types. The number of panel types significantly reduced costs. To create variation, panels were flipped or rotated, multiplying the visual variety without adding to production costs. Glazed openings are located to frame views of the chiller equipment, and dichroic glass fins cast color-changing shadows with the movement of the sun. The result is a dynamic façade that changes with the time of day, season and the location of the observer.

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Although not visible to the public, technicians working on the chiller, enjoy the color shifts

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The color-changing shadows work with the movement of the sun with dynamic results on the building facade

"The dynamic expression changes as the observer's perspective shifts. The desired effect created a technical challenge."

Glass In Action

The dichroic fins activate the exterior using sunlight as a means of recording the time of day and season. The dynamic expression changes as the observer's perspective shifts. The desired effect created a technical challenge. The design team worked closely with Goldray to perfect and experiment with what had been a first time application of dichroic film laminations at this scale. This is a testament to Goldray's reputation of taking on projects that many other companies might not. 

This project used Dichroic films. If this was happening today, it would be used with monolithic Dichroic glass, a new product that offers much more flexibility.

There are a total of 177 fins and 8 glass boxes with the majority of the fins measuring 3 ft. x 5 ft. , and were installed using a bracket system that holds the glass in place and prevents rotation.

The Chiller is unusual in that it is not designed for human occupants, but houses inanimate equipment. Opportunities for environmentally conscious design were in the siting, water efficiency, and use of sustainable materials. Ross Barney Architects have proven themselves as leaders in expanding upon current theories and designs, and Goldray looks forward to future projects with this visionary group.

Our Team

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11 different panel types were used in the design of this building


Ross Barney Architects


Blakley Corp

Sales Rep

Craig MacGregor - MacGregor Architectural Products

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