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A chic shading system

Features, Interiors | May 1, 2013 | By:

A high-end mall fights off the sun with fabric.

The Mall at Chestnut Hill, located in the Chestnut Hill section of Newton, Mass., caters to affluent Bostonians living in the suburbs. The high-end, two-story enclosed mall is small by most retail mall standards but attracts shoppers with tony boutique retailers such as Kate Spade, Cole Haan, Coach, Brooks Brothers and Bloomingdales, the only “anchor.” Managed by Simon Property Group, the Mall at Chestnut Hill was designed in the 1970s but recently underwent updating and can hold its own with much bigger retail centers.

The interior plan is a straight ‘dumbbell’ configuration of a spine lined by shops and capped at each end by a major department store, in this case two Bloomingdales stores—the Women’s Store at one end, and the Men’s and Home Store at the other. The upper level of the spine is ringed with a dramatic, diagonal grid latticework of clerestory windows that, on a sunny day, flood the central space with bright, almost overwhelming light. For this reason, management called upon ViewPoint Sign and Awning, Northborough, Mass., to install shade elements to mitigate the glare.

ViewPoint fabricated 252 custom sunshade banners that were cut, hemmed and stitched to size and fitted to the diagonal grid metal framing system of the clerestories. Each panel banner had stitched and hemmed pole pockets at both ends. The shade system was installed approximately 40 feet up from the ground floor by lift during off hours to avoid interrupting businesses.

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