Tag Archives: Princeton

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!


Porte Cochere de Fabric

Hyat render

How many French architectural terms do you know?

A porte-cochere also known as a “carriage porch” is the architectural term for a porch or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building.

It is primarily function allows a horse and or motor vehicle to top under such a structure in order for the occupants to be dropped off or picked up  protected from the elements.

old hyatt pixThe porte-cochere was a feature of many late 18th and 19th-century homes and public buildings like Buckingham Palace and the White House.

Today, they are often constructed at the entrance to public buildings such as churches, hotels, health facilities, homes, and schools.

The porte-cochere has been made with a number of materials including fabric. This project in Princeton was originally made a skeleton frame and canvas.

New HyattThe new one for the Princeton Hyatt designed by BLT Architects out of Philadelphia and fabricated and installed by Fabritec Structures uses architectural exposed steel and Teflon coated fiberglass.

Its Shade, Signage and Shelter.

Now, how many French architectural terms do you know?

5 New Small Building Ideas for Architects

Here’s 5  new small building ideas Architects, Designers and Developers can use in 2011.

One. “Show your sustainability”

Go alfresco if you’re designing a restaurant or an outdoor classroom incorporating it with a large shade structure would be a great way to show people how sustainable you are.

Two. “Park it  right here”.

Some ideas for designers and developers would be to incorporate a shade structure over parking lots to reduce the heat island effect also to provide an area for added revenue. Pay for shade or shelter.

Three. Human comfort?

No matter where you happen to be, human comfort is key. Take for example watching a local sporting event. No luxury boxes or suites. A Great opportunity for many local school clubs, public and private schools would be to incorporate a fabric structure over pre-engineered metal bleacher system or at your sports complex. The seating canopy can be sponsored or donated and could become a main feature of your facility.

Four.  “Transit Stop Here”.

How many people can fit in your a bus shelter booths?

I recently stopped by a New Jersey Transit bus stop in Wayne, New Jersey and noticed these pre-engineered bus stop shelter booths that are typically seen around the country. They never seem big enough to handle the capacity of riders and are sometimes lost when they are blocked by SUV’s and Trucks. I propose a larger structure be placed over them to incorporate overflow and provide a visual icon as a means for signage and way finding.

Five: Go inside and play

All this talk about building made me think of the  inside too. Renovation are certainly needed around the country. Have you noticed how many commercial building are for sale or rent. Dormant buildings need new life and a building’s function will need to change as well. Take a spec building and turn it into some thing else with fabric. Soft walls and “rooms within a room” can save both time and money.

Advice to Architects, Developers and Building owners?

Lets keep dreaming of new and exciting ways to build,  rebuild and celebrate life.