Tag Archives: outdoor dining

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!


Oldies but goodies

Camp WayneCamp Wayne for Girls Gymnastic Pavilion.

This project was done many years and has had its cover replaced a couple of times as well.

It’s a temporary pavilion for gymnastics at a girls camp in Pennsylvania.

It could easily be a pavilion for eating, dancing, sports, yoga or as an outdoor meeting place with protection from the elements any where.

It’s easy enough to be taken down and installed by workers at the camp.

It’s affordable and, most importantly, it works.

tumblr_nsd1l7GScF1qlssyjo1_500It’s made with a combination of aluminum and steel masts which support a vinyl coated polyester membrane.

Not a bad view from the pavilion either.

Fabric Structures and Fabric Architect provides these kinds of solutions and more.

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.



Al Fresco is coming

Resort Umbrella-smallI know it doesn’t look that way but Spring is coming across the U.S. and for restaurants and homeowners, it time to eat outdoors.

A couple of things to remember:

1. Coming from the FabricArchitect, you know I’m going to say shade! You need it for sun protection if you have a patio, deck or balcony and if you own a restaurant, you need it for sun and rain protection and it promotes your place too.

2. A patio creates a great dining experience. It says to people walking and driving down the street that this is place that’s alive.

3. Having a patio unfurnished tells robbers that your house may not be occupied. Empty seats out front of a restaurant can tell people that the food is no good or unpopular.

4. If you need a permit, go get one ASAP. In some cities, it takes a long time and everyone is going to try to do it at the same time. Beat the rush.

5. Besides a shade structure, table and chairs, check your outlets and accessories like your grill, mini frig and storage.

Enjoy the rest of the winter.

Here comes the sun.