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Mesh canopy elevates Arizona museum

Exteriors | November 1, 2010 | By:

The sun stays hot and bright at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz., and the museum store’s floor-to-ceiling glazed windows needed a canopy with an aerodynamic look. Arizona architects M3 used a wire mesh to provide an uplifting look, the illusion of transparency, light reflection and durability. The Pima Museum will also incorporate wire mesh into a new museum food facility, to stay with the flight theme.

Designed to suggest aviation aesthetics, the Pima Air and Space Museum houses more than 275 aircraft from around the world. W.S. Tyler supplied the ready-to-install mesh panels of Dokawell-Mono 3001, which have a crimped design making it more stable than other wire meshes while still offering good transparency. “The mesh’s fabric-like character,” says project designer Steve Dawe, AIA, LEED AP, “is evocative of the thin materiality of early flight, and the canopy’s form is representative of the same.”

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