Opening the door to architects

March 1, 2017

Experts discuss the best ways to encourage designers to use fabric in their projects. Confession: I am a licensed architect (please don’t hold that against me!) and I like fabric. I am also a teacher of young architects and designers and take every opportunity to introduce students to the wonders of fabric in architecture and …

On the road to Rome

February 1, 2017

Italian architects and German engineers create a dynamic fabric structure for the Palace of Congress conference center “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”—Daniel H. Burnham, American architect No one could accuse fascist leader …

Shade in the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Mexico

December 21, 2016

A sculptural fabric roof complements an expansion of a high-end mall Cuernavaca is the capital of Mexico’s Morelos state, located in the lush Tepozteco Mountains just south and bordering Mexico City. With a warm, stable climate that ranges year-round from 20–30 degrees C (68–86 degrees F), it has legitimate claim to “City of the Eternal …

Inflatables grab public attention

December 19, 2016

Companies and event organizers use inflatables to grab public attention and promote their brands. Although he now sells spaces in luxury subterranean survival shelters, Robert Vicino once focused his entrepreneurial spirit on loftier altitudes. He put a 90-foot King Kong on the Empire State Building and designed Otto the Autopilot for the farcical movie Airplane. …

Integrating fabric inside and out

December 1, 2016

Collecting rainwater, bird-proofing facades, even deflecting airborne volcanic fragments—buildings today are integrated with fabric in nontraditional ways. Architectural fabric can be integrated into buildings in more than the common uses such as roofs, shading devices and exterior cladding. Architects are now finding ways for fabric to improve building performance with special applications and unique materials. …

Residential shade sail

October 27, 2016

What is the perfect complement to a high-end residential backyard remodel? A custom-designed shade sail, of course. Red Rock Contractors of Mesa, Ariz., was working on just such a remodel when its client decided to include a fabric shade structure in their plans for a new backyard. SHADE Industries of Phoenix, Ariz., was brought in …

Hardware is in the details

When it comes to specifying hardware for shade structures, fabricators and clients can rely on the wisdom of “sweating the details.” “Ideally, the fabricator and architect should be working together from the schematic phase,” says Erik Jarvie, PE, sales engineer with Tension Structures, a division of Eide Industries Inc., Cerritos, Calif. “The knowledge of a …

Tensile shade canopy

October 1, 2016

New shade sail is an opportunity to extend existing shade coverage while adding additional amenities. Halifax Holiday Park is a campground set in a natural bushland and surrounded by two calm beaches in Nelson Bay, New South Wales, Australia, a popular vacation region for many Australians as well as foreigners due to its natural beauty. …

A case for small fabric structures, Part 2

The balancing act with new materials for portables. For Harry Osborne, creative lead at SET-Live, the graphic applications and collection of temporary structures throughout the “Google on the Beach 2015” (GoB) event was an exercise in balance. “A balance between getting the most from Anthony Burril’s incredible artwork,” * says Osborne, “but also satisfying the …

A case for small fabric structures, Part 1

August 30, 2016

New materials are making structures lighter and more portable. The owner of the iced-coffee cart in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, N.Y., understands the old real estate saw: location, location, location. It makes perfect sense when the coffee cart is made with new, lighter materials available today, making picking up and moving to a better location …