Professor uses felt to create play mats for children

September 1, 2007

A University of Minnesota professor develops a design for a children’s play piece out of fabric. By Jake Kulju John Comazzi, Assistant Professor of Architecture, College of Design, University of Minnesota, entered a competition for an open-ended children’s play piece and left with his hands full of fabric. Participants were challenged to create a non-prescriptive …

Book review: Architectural Graphic Standards

All new forms and content make the architectural reference practical and helpful, especially with its metrics for assessing sustainable design options. By James A. Strapko Architectural Graphic Standards 11th edition continues a 75-year tradition of offering concise text and descriptive graphics in a basic design handbook for architects. What began as a compact volume has …

Colorful canopy adds interest and function to funky façade

By Jake Kulju Designed to enhance and reflect the unique quality of the building it is attached to, this dual-arch entrance canopy fulfills the sometimes-difficult conditions of pragmatic art. Manufactured and installed by Boree Canvas of Jacksonville, Fla., the canopy sits on four 3-in. schedule pipe and cantilevers over and under each other with a …

Fabric framework opens up new possibilities in building design

Maintaining straight lines and super-flat surfaces in construction has a price. One architect recounts his epiphany about materials while researching fabric formwork. By Kyle Martens It was nearly 10 years ago that the chief engineer came for an inspection of the construction site I was supervising. “I have never seen such straight walls up north,” …

FTL invents a new breed of structures

Finding exciting forms for performance venues and in the process, inventing a new breed of structures. By Mason Riddle For more than two decades, FTL Design Engineering Studio has been a critical player in creating a new breed of performing art space across the country. Designers and engineers of lightweight buildings and tensile structures, the …

Two innovative fabric structures used for racing

Temporary digs for the annual Cartier Polo Silver Cup in Switzerland, and headquarters for the China-France team for the America’s Cup yacht races in Valencia, Spain. Alpine splendor Gstaad, Switzerland, may not command the international diplomacy attention that Geneva or Zurich regularly do; however, it can claim bragging rights as a venue for some top …

Architectural structures comprise NASCAR “fan zone” in Vegas

A new Las Vegas motor speedway is a crowd pleaser. By Mason Riddle Gentlemen, start your engines. NASCAR fans, you check out the new Neon Garage. Over the roar of those engines, NASCAR fans at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) could not be more ecstatic. Why? In March 2007, at the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, the innovative …

Fabric roofing solution helps a grand race get grander

BDP’s Aintree Racecourse redevelopment in Liverpool is a winner. By Helen Elias Aintree, Liverpool, is the spiritual home of the UK’s steeplechase community. The track is hallowed ground for many, not least because of its hosting every year of the Grand National, a challenging event known in racing circles and beyond as the most famous …

Lightweight fabric roof covers glazed café façade

Café Lichtblick may be Innsbruck’s favorite hot spot. High over the roofs of Innsbruck, Austria, on the rooftop of City Hall, sits the café and restaurant Lichtblick (“bright spot”). True to its name, the café’s lucid and open structure has unencumbered sightlines of the sublime mountains surrounding the city due to a glazed façade made …

Keeping outdoor fabrics clean

The basics of fabric cleaning and maintenance for awnings, canopies and fabric structures. By Todd Willmert We think of fabric maintenance and our thoughts turn to washing machines or the thread and needle—the basic techniques used on our clothing. Fabric can easily, readily be cleaned and patched, and therein lies part of its appeal. Of …