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.
To 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.
Designers 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.
The 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.
Another 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!
Posted in Architecture, Baltimore, Boston, DC, DE, Fabric Structures, New Jersey, New York, Pavilions, Philadelphia, Shade Structures, Washington, washington DC, Wilmington
Tagged Architecture, Awnings, Birdair, Canopies, covered parking, ETFE, Fabric Architecture, Fabric Structures, FabricArchitect, Green Architecture, outdoor dining, Pavilions, performance centers, Philadelphia, Princeton, pvc, Sam Armijos, Serge Ferrari, shade structures, sport stadiums, Sports Complex, Summer Resort, sustainable design, Teflon Coated Fiberglass, Tents, transit stations, Umbrellas, verseidag
Picking the right fabric can be the key to everything.
We all know what a piece of wood, brick or glass feels like.
We can go outside and find an example pretty quickly.
What about fabric?
We can look at an awning or tent or think about our umbrella or jacket.
When you start thinking about building a structure out of fabric that provides, shade, last a long time and that you can apply graphics to (just to name a few), there are plenty of different fabrics to choose from.
How do you start?
Here’s my suggestion (if I forgot a manufacturer, let me know):
PTFE (30 year life span, Class A non-combustible fabric, permanent)
Saint Gobain, Chukoh, Verseidag, Taconic, Obeikan, Sefar
PVC (20-25 year life span, Fire Retardant)
Serge Ferrari, Seaman, Mehler, Naizil
Ask for a sample and see what you get and how fast you get it.
Let me know if I can help.
Customer Service and being able to touch and feel the fabric is a great first step.
Posted in Architecture, Fabric Structures, Shade Structures
Tagged Architecture, Awnings, Canopies, Chukoh, Fabric Architecture, Fabric Structures, Mehler, Naizil, Obeikan, PTFE, pvc, Saint Gobain, Sam Armijos, Seaman, Serge Ferrari, shade structures, Taconic, verseidag
We are getting down to the last few letters and The FabricArchitect still has words to use. When it comes to the letter “V”, the words that come to mind are:
- Valley Cable
- Verseidag Fabric
Valley cables are pretty self explanatory but often misunderstood, poorly detailed or installed incorrectly. These cables are used to “keep down” the membrane from uplift forces on a structure.
Usually associated with “folded plate” style forms, they are normally constructed with a coated “jacket” on them because they are sitting on top of the membrane. They are sometime covered yet again after they are installed or left exposed to the elements. The end fittings require them to have some adjustment to them otherwise they have a tendency to flutter if not properly tensioned.
Verseidag is a manufacturer of membrane material located in Germany. They are one of the few companies worldwide that offer both PTFE and PVC fabrics. Duraskin is the brand name they go by for architectural membranes.
One of the more interesting and growing sports is the sport of bicycle or track racing. A Velodrome is an arena for Track racing.
Velodromes may be indoors or outdoors. Indoor tracks are not affected by weather and are more comfortable for spectators (i.e. see London 2012 Olympics). They ride smoother and last longer.
Despite the advantages of indoor tracks, outdoor velodromes are more common. However, there is more interest and fabric seems the be the material of choice for these venues.
“W” is next.
Posted in Fabric Structures, Shade Structures
Tagged Architecture, Canopies, Fabric Structures, FabricArchitect, Fabritec, Sam Armijos, sport stadiums, Teflon Coated Fiberglass, valley cables, velodrome, verseidag