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Soaring canopies take flight at Indiana International

Awnings & Canopies, Projects | September 1, 2008 | By:

Indiana International Airport’s recent renovations included a five-story, 2.5-million-square-foot parking facility topped with helix-shaped canopies designed to emulate the spirals in the ramp. Birdair Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., used approximately 75,000 square feet of PTFE material to form two canopies for the ramps and a central atrium. An architecture consortium selected the fabric membrane for its modern look, versatility and durability in various climate zones.

Birdair constructs lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures worldwide, and devised a single unobtrusive strut to allow the canopies to cantilever from the inner core ramp structure without showing on the outside. The Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass is waterproof, immune to UV radiation and withstands temperatures from –100 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. “I think the spiraling canopies for the helical ramps at the Indianapolis airport parking structure are the most elegant and unique I have seen,” says David R. Franklin, AIA, Domain Architecture Inc., Indianapolis, Ind. For more information about Birdair, visit

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