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Medley of shade sails cool the courts

Projects | June 18, 2024 | By: Bruce Wright

An historic mansion in Healdsburg, Calif., near Santa Rosa, built in 1883 with some of that era’s famous Gold Rush money, served as a private residence through two World Wars and long after until the estate was turned into a bed and breakfast in the 1980s. A more recent change in owners triggered another remodeling and transformed the estate into a boutique resort inn that, with the addition of a number of pickleball courts and a pro putting green on the estate grounds, can also host events.

Sonoma Shade Sails, Forestville, Calif., designed and installed a quintet of shade sails beautifully balanced such as to create a syncopated pattern that shades a major circulation path between the pickle ball courts and the putting green. Although the space was constricted, Sonoma Shade carefully set each sail unit with posts and tensioned cabling so the maximum amount of shade would remain on the pathway throughout a typical solar path during the day.

“We went through seven iterations of the layout before we hit it exactly right,” says Andrea Lynn, co-owner of the company. “It was a challenge for such a narrow site. We found that lowering some of the edges in certain places helped keep the shade in position as long as possible without blocking spectators’ viewing of the courts or putting grounds from multiple perspectives.”

The entire assembly is California code compliant, engineered to withstand 95 mph wind loads. The shade cloth used is an HDPE knitted mesh (fire rated) in two tones of mid-tan, with the lighter color facing up to reflect the sun more. The darker color underside seams were meant to be seen from beneath the sails to give additional pattern interest. The sails and sports venues seamlessly blend into the landscaped retreat to score high points for athletes and guests alike.

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