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Waves of canvas shade new aquatic center in Kansas

Exteriors, Features | March 1, 2008 | By:

Rank after rank of wave-like strips of colorful canvas greet visitors to Splash Cove in Shawnee, Kansas, near Kansas City. These undulating canopies are meant to express the overall theme of the new municipal aquatic center, “under the sea.”

“We take the theme to a new level with the Shawnee center,” says Johnathan Ruder, with Yarger Design Group Inc., architects for the facility. “The multi-waves give a sense of motion, as seen from underwater, setting the mood for the entire complex.”

Strips of wave-shaped canopies project outward from the entrance, pass through the central axis interior space and out the back into the pool area, and additional waveforms hover over the concessions section in the compound. Throughout the center, the columns that support these waveforms also echo the nautical theme appearing as seaweed-like green verticals. To heighten the effect of water waves, a mesh fabric was chosen to allow light to filter through, screening the sun just enough to protect people from UV light but still providing a fair amount of transparency.

Hendee Enterprises, who fabricated and installed the canopies, provided the fabric, and matched colors throughout the different elements of the installation, from entryway and interior “core” to the canopies over the concession area.

According to Ruder, fabrication was made efficient by designing a single section of the wave shape and flipping and flopping it in repeated lines to give greater variety to the overall wave patterns. This meant having to set up only one fabrication jig for the framing.

“We were fortunate to have a contractor who was passionate about going the extra mile,” says Ruder. “From the detailed CAD drawings to the production drawings, Hendee did excellent work. And we and the client are very pleased with the outcome.”

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