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Sails that sign: Enter here!

Case Studies, Features | August 1, 2022 | By:

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indigenous community in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a dedicated space that is surrounded by a high-end commercial plaza on its land. Located at the crossroads of two major roads, the shopping complex is composed of numerous brick-faced masses that have tribal art affixed to the curved walls.

One corner of the complex opens widely to the intersection in question but the owner requested a bright colored shade canopy to draw interest to the entrance that is accessed primarily on foot. Butler Design Group (BDG), the architects of the complex, worked closely with SHADE Industries to design
and engineer a series of seven fabric shade sails that are tied back in a fan shape at multiple points on the faces of the flanking buildings, coming to a focus as a single structural column.

“The architects made numerous sketch concepts for the shading,” says Josh Henderson with SHADE Industries, who worked on design, estimating and sales for the project. “It was a collaborative back-and-forth between the architects, the GC and us that led to deciding a simple single point mast was best. This focal point is emphasized by the dramatic splayed light standards designed by BDG.” As Henderson noted, bright, fun designs can help with wayfinding.

A unique challenge for fabrication and installation, according to Henderson, was mounting the wall brackets to the concave walls of the buildings. The stainless steel wall plates were custom radiused to match each building’s curved wall. All metal—except for the cables, anchor rings and wall plates, which are stainless—are shop coat finished. The fabric used is perforated Soltis 92 by Serge Ferrari in a “buttercup” yellow, a color selected to represent the color of the Sonoran Desert where the native plant ocotillo grows, which also inspired the splayed light poles.

Project data

Architect: Butler Design Group, Phoenix, Ariz.

Fabricator/PM: SHADE Industries, Phoenix, Ariz.

General Contractor: AR Mays Construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Engineer: RNK Inc. Structural Engineering, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Fabric: Serge Ferrari Soltis 92 , buttercup yellow

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