By Edward M Peck, AIA, LEED AP
Boca Raton Resort and Club
Image credit: Edward M. Peck (author)
Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
Architect: Office of Thierry W. Despont Ltd.
VF project director: Edward M. Peck
Specialty design/fabricator: Vector Foiltec
Date completed: 2008
Total area of ETFE: 14,000 ft2
The design concept was to remove part of the roof of an existing space within the resort and to create a transparent canopy that would float above a grid of steel columns that branched up and out inspired by palm trees.
ETFE was utilized for its transparency and ability to mold to the complex geometry as the panels followed the form of the steel branches developing a series of twisted and inverted umbrellas linked together in a manmade forest of palms. Custom attachment details were developed and tested at hurricane test facilities and several steel mock-ups were constructed to test fabrication and constructability. The result is an enlivened and signature space with incredible light that pulls guests out of adjacent spaces to bask in the light and atmosphere.