Milwaukee Art Museum Grasshopper solar animation

Inspired by the Milwaukee Art Museum Grasshopper reconstruction – solar animation

The Quadracci Pavilion is the iconic sculptural addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Highlights of the building, completed in 2001, are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling; the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217-foot wingspan that unfolds and folds twice daily; and the Reiman Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge that connects the Museum to the city. (source :

Part 2 – Animated by Sun path

Full view of the Quadracci Pavilion with the Milwaukee skyline in the background

The Grasshopper definition

In part 1, we built the Grasshopper definition and the opening of the wings was done by a simple rotation. We will now link it to the sun path.

For this we use LadyBug ( one of the tool for solar studies.

Let’s add a sun system

The EPW file which is necessary for all simulation can be found at Download the zip file and add the EPW file to the file path. This files contains sun path, weather data, wind direction and speed and many more things.

Connect the Sun Path Component

We now set Time

But in hour example, we will only use data for one day.

We will vary the Hour to open and close the wings

Before we varied an angle from 0 to 90 to open the wings. Here we will use the Altitude value which will transformed to angles.

Problem here is to have the Bounds of the domain. For that we need the Altitude max and Min for that day. We will use our Hoys for a full day.

Connect Hoys to a copy of the Hoys’ Sun Path. This copy can remain Invisible.

We have now all positions of the sun for the 21st of April from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

We connect now to the Bounds

And the mapped result to the Rotation panel

Now when hour varies, the wings are opening and closing.

End of part two

Go back part 1 here….

The Burke Brise Soleil Flapping at MAM

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