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Fabric columns feature dynamic, functional design

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One of the trends noted by Toronto-based Eventscape is that architects and interior designers are becoming much more knowledgeable about the aesthetic and technical benefits of fabric products and are incorporating them more often in conjunction with other nonfabric materials. Designers appreciate the benefits of a seamless, eco-friendly product that can cover large areas with a low weight ratio, ship efficiently and ultimately provide economical solutions for a wide range of projects.

At Firekeepers Casino, Battlecreek, Mich., designed by Perez Architects, the 12-foot-by 20-foot high columns utilize a combination of four different materials: acrylic, aluminum, 16-gauge perforated steel panels and a fabric membrane cone top that is 25 feet in diameter. Eventscape engineered and fabricated the 11 column surrounds that glow with programmed vibrant internal LED lighting and conceal the HVAC systems. While all the materials allow light transmission, the fabric is able to form into a graceful curved conical shape, and the harder materials on the lower sections provide protection against public access with a removable panel for equipment maintenance. The result was a dynamic visual element that performs all functions beautifully.

Barb Ernster is a freelance writer based in Fridley, Minn.

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