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Making the impossible possible in tent rentals

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Dan Nolan III welcomes the opportunity to push the capabilities of what Tents Unlimited is able to do for its clients. In 2009 the company collaborated with designer Nancy Braithwaite on a wedding in Kiawah Island, S.C.—a project that challenged the crew to think differently about how the inside of a tent can look, and how they can accommodate the design. The crew installed a custom 15 x 35 x 5-meter clearspan structure, designed to rest on a leveled flooring system.

The challenge was that Braithwaite wanted a custom grid to allow for the ceiling treatment to hang in a cross-hatch weave, while supporting lighting and hanging trellises that appeared to be suspended over the tables. Fabric draped down to the floor to allow a semi-hidden service corridor around the tables for dinner service. The crew augmented the tent structure so lights could hang where she needed them to be.

“This was accomplished with using a great deal of geometry and CAD renderings to make certain the look could be achieved,” Nolan says. “When we got there it didn’t work the way we thought and we had to modify it on site. Nancy challenged us—it seemed almost irrational at times because what she wanted seemed nearly impossible but eventually something clicked and we figured out a way to make it work. It was an unbelievable event. Nancy is without a doubt one of my favorite clients.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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