Category Archives: Fabric Structures

For Work and or Play

Fabric Structures for Work and for play.

Industrial Application:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This canopy was made to cover an area between two buildings where traffic passes in both directions and is on wheels in case you need to roll it away!

Recreational Application:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shade structure was made to cover kids from the summer heat at a day camp. In the winter, the shade are taken down until next summer!

Residential Application:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shade structure is for the ultimate beach getaway. On the roof overlooking the Atlantic. What more can you ask for but a little more shade!

Advertisements

Night and Day

Here’s a project in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

It’s an entrance for a high end residential complex.

Fabric structures are not all white and come in all shapes and sizes.

 

It was designed for both day and night.

Its been about 10 years!

 

It’s good to see an old friend.

 

2017: Towards a Clear and Vertical Fabric Architecture

It’s time to look back on the year that was. And some thoughts on the year to come.

In the fabric structure industry here in the USA, two major projects caught my eye: Viking Stadium in Minneapolis, MN and the Stadiums at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.

vikingstadiumta-597187860To the general public, the roof of the new Viking Stadium looks like a typical glass skylight but just the idea of watching a sporting event in a temperature controlled environment yet still being able to see the sky is what will become common in the future.

ETFE is the word of the year and a close second is transparency.

063471_013Designers will see new potential for mall renovations, airports, transit stations just to name a few. Developers and users will insist their traveling and shopping experience never be rained out. For those of us that want to look small, look no further to outdoor school areas, home extensions and public plazas to have “clear” roofs.

To see and be seen.

arthur-ashe-stadium-debut-retractable-roof-2016-us-tennis-open-01The US Open Tennis Facility in NY showed the sports world here in the US that a retractable roofs is no longer an option but a necessity. Is Met Life Stadium next?

It may look like a smaller version of the Dallas Cowboy stadium roof but it works in an urban context. The upcoming Atlanta Falcons Stadium roof will show case the retractable roof as an iconic piece of the Architecture in the city.

rossetti_usta_gs_792_0Another upcoming necessity will be the textile facade like seen at the Bille Jean King Court a the US Open. The facade will be seen more in convention building types. Old and new sports facilities will be wearing temporary or permanent coats. Designed using parametric equations and fluid dynamics or just plain and simple, these new facades will be ever changing billboards, climates changers and visual jewelry for buildings of all shapes and sizes from offices to warehouses to industrial buildings.

And “textile facades” work small too. They can screen mechanical systems, parking garages and a neighbor in style.

The Sky’s the limit and so is the horizon in 2017.

Have a Happy New Year!

No job is too small

THMunderYou see and hear a lot about the big jobs…stadiums, airports, malls, etc. It’s nice every so often to work on a small project. A project just providing simple shade, signage and shelter. But it doesn’t matter how small or big a custom fabric structure, it still requires design, engineering, fabrication and installation. Design takes a unique thought process, engineering takes time, fabrication requires quality control and the installation require care and a little bit of tension!

Fabric Structures come in all shapes and sizes, materials and and colors. No job is too big or too small

An Umbrella when you need it

Hypar ParkHypar Park is an adaptable shade structure system based on the concept of the hyperbolic paraboloid.

The structure is designed to support a “Hypar” membrane. The fabric roof can be made of structural mesh, vinyl coated polyester, ptfe, etfe or stretch fabric  and can be installed on the structure quite easily.

These architectural umbrellas can be laid out in any configuration and are ideal for both healthy living and festive play.

The structure is designed to support a lighting system which uses the membrane as a reflector. The structure allows the material to be changed quite easy for whatever mood you are in.

An umbrella comes in all shapes and sizes. You can have a personal umbrella or one large enough to cover two, three or more people.

Go big or go home.

Take a few big umbrellas, space them out properly and you can have a park full of shade and water protection.

mdt canopyI call it Fabric Landscape Architecture.

Covering Alfresco Living

If you are interested in extending your living space whether its for your home, restaurant, hotel or place of business, here are a couple of options.

Stretch Fabric Awnings or tentStretch awning restaurant

Don’t want a typical retractable awning or if you need to cover an odd space?

Try a stretch fabric. The material is a bit more forgiving and reaction loads are less than other tensile materials. Attach it directly to a wall or make it self supporting. Seasonal in nature but also quick to take up and down if you need to.

Frame TentRestaurant_Tent

Want something a little more traditional?

Try a frame tent. You can buy or rent a frame tent and attach it to your building for added support.
These frame tents are designed to incorporate, hard walls, fabric walls, glass and flooring.

Retractable CanopyA Pergola 100 with side awning white

Need all the bells and whistles? Go with a pre-engineered retractable vela, or sloped retractable canopy. Lean it against the wall, put your furniture outside, push a button and enjoy the alfresco living.

 

 

Learning from EXPO

Germany-Pavilion-Milan-World-Expo-11I love World’s Fairs.

I love the pavilions there.

I went to the one in Seville in 1992 and it changed my life.

This year it is in Milan and if you can see past the crowds, construction and the protesters, there are some incredible structures out there.

ALOT of them using fabric as a building material.

Why not?

Its quick to design, engineer, fabricate and install. It can transform a space like no other material.

hdm_milan2015_001EXPO 2015 in Milan showcases ideas surrounding healthy, safe living and the vital needs of providing food for all.

Shade plays a huge role in solving those need.

It doesn’t always have to be these iconic shapes with high tech engineering.

expo_01It can be as simple as commercial tents in a large public square or flowing “Velas or Toldos” covering a small courtyard.

However, this all requires proper planning and an understanding of structure, materials, codes and foundations.

expo-milano-2015-main-squareThe same type of design, detail, technology and material used at EXPO can be used in your own events, places and spaces.

Textile facades used to clad pavilions can also enclose a parking garage. Giant shade structure petals used to shade alot of people and plants can be used in parks, restaurants and  public spaces in a smaller scale. Long space structures can cover parking lots, decks and sport facilities of all shapes and sizes.

532753bbc07a805cd80002c9_competition-entry-austrian-pavilion-milan-expo-2015-paolo-venturella_paolo_venturella_-_austrian_pavilion_expo_2015_04_adEven the pavilions that were not chosen to be constructed are just as interesting. Look out for new terms like “Vertical Farming” and ideas like growing your own food in your backyard fabric structure.

It’s a Fabric Structure World.

 

How Hard Can It Possibly Be?

IMG_3477There are 5.1 things that I learned over the past 12 months since I started my own business after 20 years working for a variety of companies.

 

 

 
1. “Its just steel, fabric and cables”. It seems that way but there is so much more. There is design, engineering, fabrication and installation. So much of it is behind the scenes. The client and the contractor and the user think its so easy but as they say, if it was so easy, everyone would be doing it. I learned that education and getting EVERYBODY to understand the process is critical. I found myself explaining the process over and over again. Education is key.

2. Running a business is not easy or fun. Forms, taxes, accounts receivables, accounts payables, dealing with subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, etc. When did they teach me this in Architecture School?! Found myself researching a lot of …for Dummies books to catch up. Thanks Amazon!

3. Friends are priceless. There were and are so many times when you need a friend. A friend to talk to about your business. A friend to contact in the middle of the night for a favor. A friend to ask if if they know someone who can save your day. A friend to cry with. A friend to laugh with. I have a lot of I.O.U’s to give out.

4. Have you ever heard of a thing called “Stress”? I learned that God is in control. There are so many things you think you got under control but you don’t. The weather is unpredictable and so are your clients, consultants and suppliers. I learned they all have lives outside of work  and the world does not revolve around me. Sorry and thanks in advance to all the people I have worked with over the past 12 months.

5. The Sun will come out tomorrow. There is a pretty good chance that the Sun will come out tomorrow. I’ve had good days. I ‘ve had bad days. Stress one day. Joy another. Money in. Money out. Late nights. All nighters. Weekends off. Vacation?! What’s that?

5.1 It’s good to have a Dog and a great family. They love you no matter what.

Back to School

EXPO-AXIS-SBAs-entrance-building-design-Interior-2My kids might be back to school but I find myself going back to school as well.

As a parent, I am looking for a college that fits my kids, researching university programs, faculty and facilities.  What makes them stand apart?

As an Architect and Builder, I am looking at projects at day care centers, high schools, colleges and research centers to make them more attractive to the owner, client, users. How do I make them cost effective, structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing?

Sheltering  people from one place to another is not as easy as it use to be. People are walking and riding bikes more…its a more transit society. And protecting their electronics from the elements too!

3.07 028EWA simple canopy from one place to another can look really boring if you just take it for what it is.

But when you begin to see that it can be part of the overall Architecture of your Daycare, Campus Green or Sport Facility, to name a few, it can play a major role.

Going Back to School can also be about learning new ways to do things and working with new people as well.

See you in class.

 

World Cup Shade

Roof shadeYou see it with the stadium roofs. The need to shade spectators and players. Found some interesting other areas that were shaded during the World Cup I thought I would share. Enjoy the rest of the Cup and keep cool.

world-cup-decoration 6282192-large capture_20140613_145834 dbd69b890f4642c9b54627550752acdd-ac7e3ec7c4784483ad4c53f390202d47-1 A boy rides his bicycle along Third Street of the Alvorada neighbourhood which is decorated for the 2014 World Cup in Manaus