The horizontal louvers found on the exterior of this house designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects are found on the projecting volume at left and a stair that sits between it and the more solid area on the right.
It's easy to see why louvers were used here: These are the spots with the most transparency. In the case of the foreground volume, a screened porch, the louvers wrap the upper half (roughly) of three sides.
By raising the louvers above door height, views from the seating area inside to the landscape are fairly open. The level, horizontal profile and position of the louvers means that the high, midday sun is blocked but the low sunlight can come through.
The louvers are articulated in the same manner by the stair, filtering the light that enters the tall space. The louvers mitigate the impact of the sun on the space, keeping it from becoming a greenhouse in warmer months.
Here is the view from the stairs out to the landscape, with the screened seating area seen beyond.
Baldridge Architects' aptly named Courtyard House is highlighted by a large trellis over the decked outdoor space. With the louvers oriented vertically (the opposite of the previous example), the sun is allowed to enter when it's directly overhead but is filtered when at an angle.
This daytime photo shows the trellis in action. It's important to note that the louvers work in concert with the surrounding trees, so more shade is provided together than separately.
When seen from inside, the trellis appears to serve as an outdoor ceiling, solid at some angles. This gives some enclosure and privacy to the space adjacent to the glass walls.
Similar to the previous example is this house in Sydney, Australia, designed by Rudolfsson Alliker Associates Architects. The trellis also sits just outside the glass walls, in this case sliding walls that connect inside and outside.
The placement of the louvers makes it appear that they are a continuation of the ceiling, creating a stronger tie between inside and outside in line with the rest of the design.
Yet the wood used for the louvers gives the trellis some warmth that the rest of the design lacks in its minimalism.
This detail shows the simplicity of the design: tightly spaced wood slats connected to paired galvanized steel angles.
Studio Kiss's ASAP House on New York's Long Island features a red trellis at the rear that seems to be completely separate — physically and aesthetically — from the house, a simple one-story box. That they work together is evident in the way the trellis columns sit between each set of double doors.
The trellis is capped in translucent, corrugated plastic, shielding the residents from rain as well as sun.
Another Studio Kiss project features a trellis more in tune with its house, but there is still something to it that makes it feel like the trellis is an addition. In fact the project is a renovation with a new front porch.
The trellis sits at the front edge of the new porch, acting like a screen between the street and the house. It's an interesting design that gives a little bit of privacy to a side not normally accustomed to it. I could see a barbecue happening here, as opposed to out back.