Tag Archives: covered parking

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.

 

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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!

April Showers bring May Flowers

We’ve all heard the expression “April Showers bring May Flowers”.

This view is looking east, with the Hudson River behind me. Note the Empire State Building on the left side of the photo... ***************************************** Let me begin with a disclaimer: I do not dance the tango, and I know little or nothing about its history, its folklore, or even its steps and rhythms. I'm vaguely aware that it originated in Argentina (and Uruguay) in the 1890s, that a new style known as "tango nuevo" began to emerge in the late 1990s, and that various actors and actresses -- including Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Antonio Banderas, Madonna, Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger(!), among others -- have performed the tango in various movies. But beyond that, it never really occurred to me that it played any significant role here in the U.S. That is, not until the summer of 2009, when I happened to return to my hotel, on a business trip to Washington, DC, just as a local gathering of tango aficionados was dancing to their music in a nearby square known as Freedom Plaza. I photographed the event (see my Flickr set Last tango in Washington) and learned from one of the participants that there were similar informal events in New York City, at the South Street seaport, during the summer and fall weekends. When I got back to New York, I searched on the Internet, and found a schedule of upcoming tango events just as my Washington acquaintance had indicated; but travel schedules, inclement weather, and other distractions prevented me from actually attending any of them; by the end of the autumn season, I had forgotten all about it. For some reason, something reminded me of the tango again this spring -- perhaps some music that I overheard, perhaps a scene on some otherwise forgettable television show. In any case, I searched again on the Internet, and discovered that a tango "event" would be taking place on a Sunday afternoon -- but not at the South Street Seaport (on the east side of Manhattan, near the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges), but rather at Pier 45, where Christopher Street runs into the Hudson River in Greenwich Village. The event was scheduled to take place between 3:30 and 7:30 PM, and another quick search on the Internet informed me that sunset would occur at 7:30 PM. So I arrived a little before 6 PM, as the sun was beginning to drop down in the western sky, and photographed for a little more than an hour. I captured some 522 images, of which 75 have survived in this Flickr set. For the majority of the photos, I stood at the end of the pier, with my back to the Hudson River and the sinking sun; the sun broken in and out of clouds on the horizon -- and because I was wearing sunglasses, I didn't fully appreciate the extent of sun-glare that was often striking the faces of the dancers, as well as the shadows where the sun wasn't hitting at all. But I think I recovered most of the inadvertent over-exposure and under-exposure with some post-processing on the computer... I was also able to get some shots facing westward and southward, so that you could see the New Jersey skyline behind the dancers; indeed, there are a couple of shots with the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge in the background. (Note to self: come back here at twilight, on a Sunday evening in mid-summer; it could well be even more spectacular.) Since I have no personal expertise (or even competence) at the dance, there's not much that I can say about what's going on; I have to let the pictures speak for themselves. Though it wasn't universally true, I noticed several occasions where the women were taller than their partners; I gather that that's an advantage when the dancers are twirling and twisting around. Also, I had the distinct impression -- just as was the case in Washington last summer -- that few (if any) of the dancers were "couples" in the traditional sense. Indeed, many of them seemed to be strangers who had met for the first time at this tango event, but who seemed to enjoy the experience of the dance together. And others, from what little I could tell, might have encountered one another at previous tango events -- but had no other interactions or relationship with one another. In any case, I had photographed everything I could imagine photographing by a little after 7 PM. I put away my camera equipment, walked a few blocks east to Hudson Street to enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant with my wife, and made a note to check the Internet again for future tango events in Central Park and the South Street Seaport. If you'd like to pursue this on your own, check out Richard Lipkin's Guide to Argentine Tango in New York City.

I know its February (almost March) but remember it rains a lot in April and May. When Spring comes people start to spend more time outside and look for the same protection from the elements they expect all year.

Fosters-national-harbor-premium-eventFabric Structures provide a great solution to high winds, surprise snow, spring showers and heavy down pours. Its not bad to have a properly designed fabric structure up all year long too for hot summer and cold winters too!

But with all good things, its takes time to design, engineer, fabricate and install these structure. So start planning now.

Fordingbridge_Predesigned-Tensile-Fabric-Structures_Images_Kingshurst-SchoolJust want shade, go High Density Polythene (HDPE). Its a mesh fabric that gives you shade only protection but can also handle drizzle and light rain. Great for playgrounds, parking canopies

Looking for a cost effective solution to water protection?

Go with a vinyl coated polyester (PVC) fabric.

Toile tendue de auvent

Alfresco Architecture

Need a noncombustible fabric?

Go with teflon coated fiberglass (PTFE).

Looking for transparency instead of translucency?

Ask for clear fabric in PVC, PTFE or ETFE!

From umbrellas to dome stadium, awning to frame structure, retail to industrial, temporary to permanent, there is no other material that passes the test.

Make it sustainable.

zanzibarMake it Resilient.

Make it yours.

Make it a custom Fabric Structure.

Do you really NEED a fabric structure?

IMG_3477Not really.

To Live, you NEED water, food and shelter.

Everything else is a WANT.

Well, do you really WANT a Fabric Structure?

It all depends.

If you are looking for a lightweight structure that provides protection from the Elements and happens to also improve the aesthetics of your place or space, then you WANT a fabric structure.

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.

 

Here comes the sun

“Here Comes The Sun”- The Beatles

MDT Typ E - 75Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

NH imageLittle darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Shadesail-Soltis-92-5Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It’s all right, it’s all right

Lansdale concert in the parkIts here. Spring. Summer. Outdoor events.

Check your old stuff, plan for new stuff. custom or stock.

 

Diary of the FabricArchitect: Learning from Bologna

RPI_EMPACScreenplay Draft.

The scene (A packed auditorium. I like the EMPAC Center at Rensselaer)

Spotlight on podium.

“Ladies and Gentlemen…The FabricArchitect” (Thunderous applause).

I arrive at the podium. The Applause dies down and there is now silence…

“I always loved to travel and see buildings. My father was a doctor and he loved to take me, my mom and my two sisters to some far away places every summer. Panama one year. Ecuador the next. One year a newly constructed building, the next year an ancient ruin, but always Architecture. I think his true love was Architecture.

Bologna-Typical-streetFor me, it all started in Bologna.

Bologna is a city in Northern Italy between Milan and Florence and west of Venice. The city is famous for its elegant and extensive arcades and porticos. In total, there are some 38 kilometers of arcades in the city’s historical center, which make it possible to walk for long distances sheltered from the rain, the snow, the hot summer sun.
It didn’t matter much to me back in Architecture School. I was in a “Rome Studies” class drinking wine and sipping tortellini en brodo with my buddies (a couple of laughs from the audience). But what I remember the most was sketching the unfinished façade of the Basilica of San Petronio”

Fade to Black….

The scene (Bologna, Italy)
San PetronioThe Basilica of San Petronio is the main church of Bologna. It dominates the Piazza Maggiore. It is the fifth largest church in the world, stretching for 132 meters in length and 60 in width, while the vault reaches 45 meters inside and 51 meters in the facade. It can contain about 28,000 people.

The facing of the main facade remains unfinished: many architects (notably Baldassarre Peruzzi, Vignola, Andrea Palladio and Alberto Alberti) were commissioned to propose solutions for it, but a definitive one was never found.

While I was there, I fell in love with the Architecture while visiting the buildings I had read about in my History books. I thought my professors had the coolest job taking students to visit famous buildings and hanging out smoking cigarettes and drinking cappuccino. The experience inspired me to want to become an Architecture Professor.

I continued my trip thru Italy and other parts of Europe with stops to visit the great work of LeCorbusier and the hot architects of that time. I went to Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain and England, more places than I can remember but I was filling my hard drive with images of great places and great spaces.

Architecture Frei Otto Olympic Stadium Park Germany steel brace braced pulley arena infield seating spectator spectators stands grandstand detail structure mesh stretch stretched  webbing webbed woven tension tense tensed structure structures buildings roOne of my stops was to see the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany by Architect and Engineer Frei Otto. The stadium is more famous for the 1972 terrorist attacks and bloodshed then for the games themselves.

This incredible structure was made of steel, cables, fabric and clear acrylic panels. A couple of buddies of mine got onto the roof one night and climbed to the top of a mast.

For one night, I felt like I was walking on water.

For more to the story: www.fabricarchitect.com

Inclement Weather

0134-Stuttgart-Otto“Inclement weather” basically means its going to be stormy, raining, snowing or windy. In most parts of the world, we experience changes of seasons and temperature. Around the Northeast, in January, there is a pretty good change we are going to get SNOW. Other places, it can be high winds or a lot of rain. We prepare ourselves for those events: snow blowers, salt and emergency “things”. Buildings and public places need to prepare themselves as well. Streets need to be cleaned, walkways need to be covered and outside building equipment needs to be maintained. If you are going to invest in any type of building or even a fabric structure, make sure its designed for “inclement weather”.

Stay safe and warm.

Back to Work

IMG_2228After a long holiday weekend, its back to work. The summer has been brutal so far this year in the United States.

Heavy rains in some areas and temperature close to 100 degrees on the East and West Coast.

Shade and shelter isn’t a luxury item, it’s a necessity. The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) knows how to take care of its users. The pedestrian walkways at Vienna Metro Station are covered with fabric structures.

IMG_2238So whether you are coming off a bus or train or parked your car in the parking garage, these canopies keep you cool and dry.

It can’t help you getting there on time:)

Fabric Structures and Airports

AMBI1894Most people think of the Denver Airport when it comes to fabric structures in the USA but you may be under a fabric structure in another airport and not even know it.

Fabric Structure do not always have to make a grand statement or be seen from miles away. The most common place to find them is at the departure and arrival areas at many Airports across the country. If you travel quite a bit, you might know that the picture above is from the San Diego Airport.

You get dropped off or picked up with out getting wet. You might be standing under one in the hot sun waiting for your shuttle to come by.

Its all included in making your travel experience enjoyable. No charge.

San Diego Int'l Airport ~ San Diego CA