Structurflex LLC - Textile Façade Cladding

Chicago’s Northwestern University was constructing a $35 million lakeside sailing and visitor center, topped with a two-story car parking facility. To conceal the vehicles within the elevated garage, two of the walls were tinted glass. For the remaining sides, the design brief called for a façade...


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Structurflex LLC
140 Walnut Street
Suite 201
Kansas City, MO 64106
Tel: (816) 889-9000
Fax: (816) 889-9003

rappleby@structurflex.com

http://www.structurflex.com

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Overview



Textile Façade Cladding

Textile Façade Cladding

Façade Cladding Benefits:

  • Innovative shading/screening
  • Dramatic energy savings
  • Green/100% recyclable
  • Maintain visual transparency
  • Economical/lightweight
  • Changeable building graphics/branding
  • Proven 25+ year life expectancy
  • Modern look/twilight transformation

Applications:

  • New/retrofit
  • Stadium screening/branding
  • Parking garages

Making waves at sailing and visitor center


Tensile membrane fabric façade fins


Completed in 2014
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Fabric area 10,000 sq ft
Fabric type PTFE membrane
Architect Ralph Johnson of Perkins+Will

The challenge – create a parking garage façade with a sailing theme

Chicago’s Northwestern University was constructing a $35 million lakeside sailing and visitor center, topped with a two-story car parking facility. To conceal the vehicles within the elevated garage, two of the walls were tinted glass. For the remaining sides, the design brief called for a façade with a sailing theme that made a signature statement, while augmenting the building’s striking architectural features.

The solution – custom-shaped sails to depict a wave of water

PTFE membrane was used to create 94 thin-width vertically-curved fabric panels set at right angles to the building. Alternate panels curved towards or away from the building. For the outward curving panels, their point of maximum extension varied in height above the ground, creating a waveform along the entire length of the structure.

Our work included design collaboration, engineering the sails and their structural support, fabrication of PTFE and fiberglass components, and installation. Each frame had multiple attachment points and their location involved intensive collaboration with the contractor. Careful planning in the final tensioning was also crucial to avoid overstressing the frames. Finally, installing the membrane panels multiple stories above ground required masterful coordination and cooperative weather.

“The fins on the east facade have a pronounced curve that endows that side of the building with a striking, wave-shaped pattern that is an unexpected delight for passing pedestrians and cyclists.” – Chicago Tribune


Textile Façade Cladding


Structurflex LLC
140 Walnut Street
Suite 201
Kansas City, MO 64106
Tel: (816) 889-9000
Fax: (816) 889-9003
E-mail: rappleby@structurflex.com
Web site: http://www.structurflex.com





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