For the Hard Summer Music Festival in Southern California, event promoter Insomniac reached out to Stretch Shapes, Eugene, Ore., to create colorful, airy shade structures that doubled as artistic elements. Stretch Shapes proposed three massive geometric pinwheels, each measuring 110 feet in diameter. The manufacturer partnered directly with a mill to custom build six different colors of warp-knit fabric, cut with a CNC machine using proprietary software for precision. An in-house team sewed 600 flat-panel sails within the structures, which were engineered to meet California’s stringent building codes. The shade structures helped set the festival’s tone while providing attendees a sanctuary from the sun. Photo: Insomniac
Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures
A senior living facility in Overland Park, Kan., wanted to create a large unique patio covering outside the dining hall for residents to enjoy. Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc., St. Louis, Mo., worked with architectural firm SFCS Inc. to design and fabricate a custom freestanding metal and fabric shade trellis canopy. The 720-square-foot structure comprises an aluminum tubing rafter grid supporting 12 rows of mechanically attached purlins that run the width of the canopy. Because each frame section was a different width, Lawrence had to determine the correct measurements between the weaved panels. A set of 15 Glen Raven FIRERESIST® ivory fabric panels weaves through the top purlins. Photo: Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc.
After renovating its bookstore, Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., sought a distinctive shade solution in the new adjacent outdoor seating area. The school selected three Tornado® shades from Shade Systems Inc., Ocala, Fla., because they create a bold, sculptural look over the picnic tables. The product’s CoolNetTM high-density polyethylene (HDPE) shade blocks up to 99% of UV rays. But the hot Florida sun wasn’t the only weather hazard the structures had to address: They needed to stand up to hurricanes. Shade Systems’ steel frames and in-ground footings are engineered for the state’s stringent hurricane codes, while campus staff can easily remove and reattach the canopy thanks to the product’s stainless steel fastening system. Photo: Shade Systems Inc.
During the blazing summer months in the California desert, temperatures can easily reach 115 F. Inside vehicles, that number jumps to 160 F. To help reduce the heat in its valet parking lot, Augustine Casino in Coachella, Calif., asked Shade Comforts Inc., Benicia, Calif., to provide a turnkey solution to permanently shade 67 spaces. The casino wanted an attractive structure visible from the adjacent highway. Highlighted by arched fabric roofs, the resulting project comprised four cantilevered fabric shades totaling 10,170 square feet. The Alnet Extrablock HDPE shade fabric and 24 reinforced footings are also designed to withstand 110 mph three-second wind gusts. Subtle lighting fixtures boost the structure’s appeal after dark. Photo: Shade Comforts Inc.
The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Cedar Creek, Texas, features a dramatic cluster of shade sails at its resort pool. Manufactured by Modern Shade LLC and installed by its dealer, T.F. Harper and Associates LP, Buda, Texas, these fabric tension structures use Gale Pacific’s Commercial 95® architectural fabric to offer beauty and functional shade. The initial concept design, developed by another group, called for 20 triangle sails, which offered large gaps and less shade. At the owner’s request, Modern Shade redesigned the entire project with larger, overlapping four-sided custom sails to fit the columns already installed for triangle sails. The outcome transformed the property and pleased the customer. Photo: John Phelps Photography
For one of its parks undergoing refurbishment, the city of Miami, Fla., contacted Southern Recreation, Carrollton, Ga., to build a themed playground that was unique to the area and fit within the existing footprint. Southern Recreation, a distributor of Superior Recreational Products, worked with the manufacturer to propose a play structure inspired by a pirate ship, complete with the company’s complementary blue triangle shade sails. Not only do the shades work well with asymmetrical spaces that don’t lend themselves to traditional linear column spacing, but they also allow for strategic placement of the columns outside the playground fall zones. The shade system meets the compliance rules regarding minimum clearance while ensuring that it isn’t too tall and keeps park visitors safe. Photo: Superior Recreational Products/Tom C. Robison Photography
Courtyard renovations often call for distinguishing shade structures to create a practical yet stunning environment, as Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif., recently discovered. The school reached out to Architectural Resources Group, who worked with Infinity Canopy Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., to design a retractable slide-on wire canopy that spans the courtyard between two buildings 65 feet apart and is installed 20 feet off the ground. Three canopies, each 10 feet wide, feature 17 billows made of Serge Ferrari Soltis Horizon 86 fabric—chosen for its durability, shade factor of 86% and ability to drain. The shade solution operates with a manual pulley and rope system—an engineering feat that allows the user to easily retract the covering in three stages. Photo: Infinity Canopy Inc.
Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer based in Montevideo, Minn.