From outlet mall to entertainment outlet

April 1st, 2024

Changing buying habits over the last couple of decades have spurred shopping centers to evolve as well. Many have been reimagined and reborn, such as the continuing transformation of the former Chesterfield, Mo., outlet mall into The District. The entertainment hot spot is now anchored by restaurants, a brewery, special events space, concert venue, fitness […]

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Awnings encourage natural light and offer shade protection

July 1st, 2023

Natural light can help reduce energy usage in our buildings. This is a lesson known for centuries but seemingly forgotten after the 1940s with postwar technological advances in air conditioning (coupled with the Modernist design movement that declared “ornament is a crime”). These stripped-down building facades spoke volumes about a new era of high-tech materials […]

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Shade around the world: custom canopy projects

February 1st, 2021

Ant Walk in Mexico City is a covered walkway by Ketan Membranas Arquitectónicas, intended to be analogous of the form of organization and work dynamics that ants use to provide themselves with resources. Photo: Ketan Membranas Arquitectónicas. Wherever the sun shines, people need shade. These recent canopy projects from around the world fulfill that mission […]

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An architecturally significant performance hall gets a new canopy

September 1st, 2020

When Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida in 2017, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Fla., was one of many buildings damaged. In particular, the fabric of the hall’s front canopy needed to be replaced.  The new beige entrance canopy to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Fla., complements the lavender seashell […]

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Outdoor lifestyles of the rich and famous

May 1st, 2020

A retractable canopy provides just the right shading in the California sun. Photos: Arya Group. Villa Sarbonne, a Bel Air mega mansion, was designed with no detail left unattended. The 25,000-square-foot home boasts nine bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a movie theater, hair salon, spa and even a car elevator that rises seamlessly from underground to deliver […]

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Retractable canopies keep concert-goers protected

June 1st, 2019

A new retractable canopy enables the Merriweather Post Pavilion to host open-air events on sunny days and provide instant protection from the elements when needed. Photos: Uni-Systems LLC. Located in a forest setting between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., the Merriweather Post Pavilion is an historic outdoor music venue. Designed by architects Frank Gehry and […]

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Underwater shade at Penn State

June 1st, 2019

Tensile membrane offers two times more natural light transmission than standard weldable PVDF membranes as well as twice the heat protection, making it ideal for creating an outdoor performance and relaxation space. Photos: ©Lightweight Manufacturing. When you think about outdoor spaces for people to congregate, a water tower is probably not on the list. But […]

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School shade

June 1st, 2016

Shade structure at a mid-century kindergarten in New Zealand adds a contemporary facelift and protection from the sun. Of all the roles that shade structures fulfill—from aesthetic appeal to space expansion—their most critical function is weather protection. Few places require as much protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays as New Zealand, which, according to the country’s […]

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US Navy Chooses Infinity Canopy

April 1st, 2016

The United States Navy has chosen Infinity Canopy to cover its 35-foot-by-45-foot pergola, located at US Navy Seal Beach Golf Course in Cypress, Calif. The pergola creates an intimate space for various functions. After an exhaustive search and visits by the US Navy staff and engineers, Infinity Canopy was selected to provide additional shade and […]

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State of the specialty fabrics industry: Fabric structures, awnings and canopies

March 1st, 2016

The world economy in review Six years after the world economy emerged from the Great Recession of 2009, a return to a strong global expansion remains elusive. The downside risks to the world economy appeared more noticeable than ever in 2015. Economic growth has improved in the advanced economies—the United States, Japan and Europe. But […]

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