Tag Archives: Green Architecture

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!


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!

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.

Make mine a Fabric Architect House!

summer houseThis Fabric house was inspired by the Frey/Kocher weekend house but takes “canvas” to the next level. A canvas house is now possible due the durability of the material. The material can be made into panels and become a floor, a wall, a ceiling and more with no fear of fire and smoke. The fabric is interchangeable for all surfaces and depending on the fabric chosen, different levels of light translucency, color and texture is achievable. Today’s Architectural materials are waterproof enough to be used as an inverted umbrella which not only provides shade but collects water too.

Make mine a Fabric Architect House!

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.


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: Research and Design

habitat1 copyIts snowing again.

It seems like it’s always snowing in Upstate New York.

I went to Graduate School at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where I learned the concept of “Research and Design”.

Architect Phillip Johnson once said “You cannot not know history”. I learned in Graduate School the importance of knowing what’s been done before in order to not make the same mistake and to learn from what’s been done before.

While at school, I took side trips over the weekend to places like Falling Water, The Glass House, Columbus, Indiana and Habitat ’67, just to name a few. Great places, great spaces. I imagined my Dad joining me on my trips. I recall one of my professors telling me that my thesis had to be my passion. Something you would be willing to research for the rest of your life. It was hard to narrow it down back then with so much exciting Architecture being designed and built at the time.

1107-ga-4I spent day and night in the library trying to find a topic that interested me when I came upon a copy of Progressive Architecture featuring the Haj Terminal in Saudi Arabia.  The Haj Terminal was this incredible tented structure airport that covered acres of desert sand. I started reading articles by John Morris Dixon and Tom Fisher on this topic and learned about some of the pioneers in this field.

That was the night I discovered my passion.
RPI thesis 003I wrote my thesis on “Fabric Structures in Housing”.

The concept revolves around the potential benefits of fabric structures to extend living space and improve the physical, social and environmental aspects of a space.

I slept, drank, and dreamed about fabric all day and night at school.

It starts to snow again.

For more to the story: www.fabricarchitect.com

The Next BIG Thing.

420aI’ve been checking out the latest Architecture and Construction magazines  and reading all the Google Alerts pertaining to buildings and spaces and I am wondering what the next big thing is in our industry.

The Star Architects are doing pretty much the same thing while many Architects out there are pushing the envelope with  “net zero” and “sustainable” concepts.

Special Event structures for the World’s Fair, Olympics and Sports Championships are all watching the bottom line while the unstable world economy is keeping every developer from really making some noise.

So what do you think will be the next BIG thing?

Here are my top five big things:

1. Someone unveils a way to reduce or eliminate the mobile phone bill.

Free mobile.

2. Someone unveils a way to reduce or eliminate their utility bill.

Plug and play Net Zero.

3. Someone unveils a way to reduce or eliminate their gas bill.

No car, no problem. Yes car, no problem.

4. Someone unveils a new business or industry based on a new use or need for Architectural Fabrics.

DIY Fabric Structures.

5. Someone unveils a new fabric or film which takes over the the construction industry.

Bubble Structures. Create, Use, Pop.

What’s your idea?