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Function meets beauty

Case Studies, Exteriors | May 4, 2015 | By:

Sefar Inc.’s Tenara® fabric has a 40 percent light transmission rate that provides translucency, while remaining inert and highly resistant to blemishing and degradation. Photos: FTL Design Engineering Studio

Torch-shaped fabric canopies light way for Staten Island commuters.

By Kathy Carlson

The elegant array of 12 torch-shaped canopies glowing with diffused lights has made the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal a more functional–and beautiful–way for commuters to experience New York’s landscape.

The Staten Island Ferry transports 22 million people per year between Staten Island and Manhattan, but the St. George Staten Island Esplanade was showing its age, and the New York City Department of Transportation sought a more functional upgrade.

FTL Design Engineering Studio, New York, N.Y., worked with Leni Schwendinger Light Projects Ltd., New York, N.Y., to incorporate induction lamps (used for bridge lighting) that could be traded out from the Esplanade, and a canopy design that would make the most of the improved illumination.

In the design stage, numerous mock-ups put various materials to the “let there be light” test, and Tenara®, from Sefar Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., was the winner, excelling in translucency, color temperature and resilience.

Eventscape Inc., a custom architectural fabricator located in Toronto, Canada, installed Tenara 4T40HF fabric, woven from ePTFE yarn and coated with PTFE, around the center cone of each of the 12 light canopy frames. Multiple layers accommodate the shape of the canopy frames and provide added reinforcement at their most-tensioned spot—the center post.

The membrane, attached to the top of the frame and pulled down with a bale ring to tension the surface, allows the fabric ring to be raised to replace the lamps.

Kathy Carlson is a freelance writer from St. Paul, Minn.

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