Dramatic canopy offers protection high above the city

July 1, 2019

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA The Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, in Charlotte N.C., has a stunning 19th-floor lawn and event deck overlooking the city. The popular venue hosts weddings and other large gatherings, and the hotel needed a retractable canopy to protect patrons from sun, rain and high winds that may swirl about the 20-story …

Membrane structure keeps museum visitors cool

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA As marine museums go, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science goes the extra nautical mile to fully engage visitors with its message of sustainable ecology. Designed by the acclaimed British design firm Grimshaw Architects, the Frost Museum is a complex of four buildings located within view of the …

Mitigating heat and courting shade for shoppers in Hawaii

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Shade is often one of the most important design considerations for public venues in Hawaii, especially on the leeward (away from the wind) side of an island. Such is the case on Oahu, where the Ka Makana Ali‘i shopping center is located.  A center court at the recently built Ka Makana retail …

Denver’s ‘boomerang’ bus hub keeps visitors coming back

June 1, 2019

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA There’s something about Denver, Colo., and the use of fabric structures. First came the Denver International Airport, with its iconic peaked fabric roof of the Jeppesen Terminal (1995) designed by Fentress Bradburn Architects. The conical skylights were reportedly inspired by the Rocky Mountains backdrop to the airport. Then, in 2014, …

Shade sails tackle solstice extremes

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Arizona is known for stunning landscapes and a warm climate. Most homes in this area have some form of shaded outdoor living space, where Arizonians can enjoy the temperate weather. Working closely with a client with a request for her residence, Shade Industries® of Phoenix designed a custom, elegant structure …

World’s longest canopy skylight features ETFE cushions

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Like a sinuous paper dragon in a Chinese parade, bobbing and weaving between rooftops and towers, the Shimao “Dream Street” Plaza canopy floats above the sidewalk in a bejeweled state. Composed of about 406 trapezoidal ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushions, it is framed in a long unfolding strip on structural stilts …

Crafting shade at Auvents Ombrasole Awning

May 1, 2019

Ombrasole designs, manufactures and installs awnings of all types for North American climates—many of which feature Emilio Petrongolo’s custom and patented motors. Emilio Petrongolo can trace his fascination with canvas and sewing back to his childhood in Italy, where his grandmother made jute bags for storing wheat. Petrongolo, director of R&D and marketing at Auvents …

New IFAI member benefits

April 1, 2019

IFAI has created new member benefits over the past year. For more information about each benefit, visit https://www.ifai.com/membership/member-benefits/. Marine Fabricators Business Insurance The Marine Fabricators Business Insurance program is tailored to MFA division members and their unique risks and exposures. The best in practice program offers these insurance lines with competitive pricing: * Property—property contents …

2019 State of the Industry

Economic growth in 2018 increased in the United States: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 3.0 percent for the first time since 2005. Unfortunately, growth has been down in other advanced economies such as Canada, Japan and Europe. Growth in the emerging economy of China was also down in 2018—reaching 6.6 percent. China’s GDP is projected …

Enter the 2019 IFAI Student Design Competition

The 2019 IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International) Student Design Competition is searching for talented students to enter their best projects in an effort to be recognized within the textile industry. Students pursuing degrees in textiles, apparels, engineering, architecture or design can now enter the 2019 Student Design Competition. This is an elite competition focused on giving …