By Sigrid Tornquist
The St. Louis Children’s Hospital entrance canopy project Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc. installed in 2002 stretched the company’s capabilities in many ways, says president Jerry Grimaud. The hospital brought the concept of a butterfly design to Grimaud sketched on a plain piece of paper, requesting that it be colorful and visible from both the top and the bottom. “It might as well have been sketched on a napkin,” he says. “We had to work with architects and engineers very closely to capture the butterfly design and to develop it into a practical structure.” Lawrence incorporated a masted steel support system with a greater than normal cantilever design, and designed an aluminum frame system that allows the fabric to be tensioned and supported at the same time.