Protective fabric mesh surrounds a landmark tower

June 1st, 2020

A fabric-clad tower in southern Germany brings technicians, elevator experts and the public together in one spectacular vertical setting. By Bruce N. Wright, FAIA The fabric-wrapped ThyssenKrupp test tower in Rottweil, Germany, is used to test and certify high-speed elevators, reducing development time of skyscrapers. The tower’s observation deck offers visitors stunning views of the […]

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Innovative fabric facades

April 1st, 2020

Changing the look and function of architecture for a sustainable future.  by Bruce N. Wright, FAIA Architects are fond of describing their buildings in the metaphoric terms of the human body. The supporting structure is often referred to as the skeleton that holds it up; the enclosure (or envelope) is the skin that protects the […]

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Channeling nature through fabric at Allianz Field

August 1st, 2019

Dramatic Allianz Field soccer stadium in Minnesota takes its cues from Lake Superior and aurora borealis. By Bruce N. Wright, AIA Soccer is an internationally loved sport for many reasons, but one draw has to be the fluid physicality of the athletes. The new Allianz Field soccer stadium in St. Paul, Minn., reflects this dynamic […]

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Long-term clearspan tent installations offer a clear advantage

December 1st, 2018

For Jeff McInnes, what better proof of the validity of clearspan structures being used for permanent buildings than having his recently installed aquatic center survive Hurricane Florence in North Charleston, S.C. “We often install permanent structures that sometimes need to be in place for extended durations; anywhere from three to 30 years,” says McInnes, North […]

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Fabrics bring museum exhibits to life

August 1st, 2018

Visitors to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., are bound to be moved by the multiplicity of impressions, sounds, lights and graphic images that could only be presented with the aid of fabric. “This Little Light of Mine,” the name of the main exhibition at the Jackson museum, aims to immerse visitors […]

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Future architecture: Nicholas Goldsmith and the journey from mass to membrane

July 1st, 2018

Nicholas “Nic” Goldsmith, FAIA, has been a major player for more than 40 years in the development of fabric architecture in North America and around the globe through his leadership of the innovative architectural/engineering firm FTL Design Engineering Studio, based in New York City. I’ve known Nic for more than 20 of those years, and […]

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Stressed? Interactive textiles monitor humans and structures for potential damage

July 1st, 2018

During the evening rush-hour traffic, the eight-lane 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis suddenly collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The bridge was a continuous truss design, and an overstressed gusset plate at a critical joint was later determined as the weak point that contributed to its […]

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Selling shade, comfort, health and weather protection-in style

June 1st, 2018

Who could have predicted, even 10 years ago, that Amazon would have driven shade and awning companies, let alone everyday retail stores, into changing their operations to meet the demand for overnight response rates? Yet today, more than we’d like to believe, sales behemoths like the online portal Amazon and similar services have taught consumers […]

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Some of the most innovative uses of fabric in entertainment environments are found inside

March 1st, 2018

Fabric and lighting have an ages-old relationship that elicits something visceral, and when done skillfully there’s a quality to backlit fabric that nothing else can provide,” says Eric Bury, director of project development for the Toronto, Canada-based custom architectural fabrication company Eventscape. Bury acknowledges that of all the construction materials his company uses to create […]

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Tarp and truck cover manufacturers stand at the ready with products designed to keep loads secure and drivers safe

March 1st, 2018

Fabric truck covers, side curtains and tarping systems are enjoying increased attention from an industry looking for advanced solutions to help keep fleets rolling along more efficiently, safely and economically. Several factors are fueling this interest. For one thing, drivers are getting older, says Vincent Merlot Jr., CEO/owner of Merlot Vango® Tarping Solutions Inc., a […]

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