A sustainable canopy keeps school cool and quiet

September 1, 2019

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA  The Tanmei Elementary School in Taiwan’s Neihu district is a fashionable, eco-friendly campus with the demeanor of a tranquil college quad. Unfortunately, its location is close to one of the busiest streets of Neihu, a fast-growing district of Taipei City, and the source of noise that disrupts the school’s learning environment.  Since …

Award-winning recreation center weathers the seasonal extremes

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Weather is a topic of daily conversation in Saint Louis Park, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. Seasonal temps in the city can range from a high of 90˚F in the summer to well below 0˚F in the winter. In the transitional seasons of spring and fall, residents can experience 20-degree …

Channeling nature through fabric at Allianz Field

Dramatic Allianz Field soccer stadium in Minnesota takes its cues from Lake Superior and aurora borealis. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Soccer is an internationally loved sport for many reasons, but one draw has to be the fluid physicality of the athletes. The new Allianz Field soccer stadium in St. Paul, Minn., reflects this dynamic …

Stylish dining space meets strict building codes

August 1, 2019

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Owners of the new Caribbean restaurant and bar Lallo’s in Miami, Fla., knew their debut needed outdoor dining and indoor seating in order to succeed. Management turned to Miami Awning Co. for its expertise to provide stylish shade and weather protection over an outdoor bar that was shoe-horned into the …

Park shelter ‘stars’ in Taiwan

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Longgang Forest Park is a treasured landmark in Taoyuan City in northwest Taiwan. As more people discover the calming effects of nature, the park’s use has increased to the point of needing more user-friendly facilities. One facility recently built by the local municipal government is a park shelter that sits …

A bright future: fabrics that generate electricity

Pvilion’s Colin Touhey is working to forge strategic partnerships to integrate photovoltaic technology into all kinds of fabric products.  by Jill C. Lafferty Every time you are building what you think is a one-off project, you’re probably going to do something similar a second time, a third time, a hundredth time,” says Colin Touhey, CEO …

Protecting shoppers from monsoon rains

By Bruce N. Wright, AIA The feeling is nothing short of amazing, say patrons of La Isla Mérida, the biggest shopping mall in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, where the streets between stores are covered completely with a transparent membrane. The city of Mérida, located near the northern coast of the Yucatán facing the Gulf …

Michele Quadri-Butterfield keeps Al’s Awning Shop up to date and focused on customers

July 1, 2019

by Jill C. Lafferty The mission of Al’s Awning Shop is to be the leading provider of quality fabric solutions and to be dedicated to providing professional customer service and exceptional products,” says owner Michele Quadri-Butterfield. “Fabric solutions is key for me. It’s about taking a fabric and helping the customer find the solution to …

Dramatic canopy offers protection high above the city

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 …