Opening up living and working spaces to the outdoors is one of the top three reasons why clients seeking design solutions turn to GuildWorks.
Since we specialize in designing and building tensile structures using advanced architectural fabrics, these indoor/outdoor spaces have been a natural part of our core competencies. Referred to as biophilic design, this building-industry concept increases occupant connectivity to the natural environment. Studies show that people are more healthy, happy, and productive when nature is a part of their daily life. Now that there is a pandemic, biophilic design is also essential to building safe environments where people can interact, work, play, and live.
In an early 2019 interview, Mar Ricketts, GuildWorks’ Principal and Founder was interviewed by Green Building Magazine and talked about this very thing! He stresses the importance of outdoor living and explains the creative options and sustainable, long-term solutions available when using architectural fabrics to create functional yet elegant environments. Read more here: https://gbdmagazine.com/guildworks/.
So you want to build a permanent fabric structure?
Here are three important considerations to keep in mind as you get started!
First, know the intended purpose for your structure.
Is the structure going to provide shelter from sun or rain? Is it needed to reduce the heat-island effect that so many cities struggle to overcome? Is the structure purely an artistic piece to create atmosphere and invite people to linger? Knowing the purpose for the structure can not only help with design direction but also determine what types and how many pieces of fabric will be required. Rain, snow, and wind loads are also taken into consideration so the designs can be precisely engineered.
(Left image) Tree To Tree is an aerial adventure course in Gaston, OR. A purely functional, yet attractive canopy was needed for a patio to provide shade and rain shelter. We used a coated architectural fabric with a hexagonal design. While this functional piece solves shelter requirements, it also provides a unique gathering spot for guests to rest. It’s especially alluring with a warm glow when the sun shines due to the color of the fabric.
(Center & Right images) “Dancing Sky” is a purely artistic piece that needed to create atmosphere for the walkways and plazas throughout Arizona Center in Phoenix, AZ. Because this design didn’t have shelter requirements, specialized netting was used to create an ethereal structure that shifts and moves with the changing light and wind patterns.
Second, know your site location.
It’s very important to know what the structure will be built upon, what is under the ground, and if your structure will be freestanding or will attach to other existing buildings. If your project is going to be built directly onto the ground as a freestanding structure, obtain soil tests to determine ground types such as sandy loam, hard rock, etc. This helps determine what types of footings and posts will be required to build the structure. An underground utilities map will also ensure a successful design if building within a city or residential area. We are currently building a permanent, freestanding, fabric structure in Phoenix, AZ that uses precisely engineered posts, footings and guylines. Our design will help provide a vibrant plaza full of life with a coffee cart, music and food while providing ample shade and reducing heat island effects.
Some structures are designed to attach to existing buildings. In this case, ensuring the buildings have enough reserve capacity to support the new loads and working with a structural engineer is essential. Benefits of creating a structure that is attached to existing buildings are that it can save costs by eliminating extra posts, foundations and footings and it can be aesthetically complementary, enhancing the existing structures.
We recently completed Camperdown in Greenville, NC. Because this design anchors to other buildings, the structure is able to elegantly fan out across the plaza. An urban branding project, Camperdown now provides a unique focal point for shopping, restaurants, music, and gathering outdoors.
Third, know the scale you want designed and built for your structure.
Interestingly, it’s more cost effective to build a permanent fabric structure rather than a traditional structure as your spans go larger. Tensile structures are known as a more efficient structural force and it costs less to support large spans of fabric than it does to build using traditional construction materials and methods. This is why many gigantic stadiums are made using fabric. Added benefits of large scale fabric construction are that it uses fewer resources and creates less waste, resulting in a more sustainable method of building.
GuildWorks specializes in large scale, elegant arrays that create an atmosphere and experience that tents and traditional building covers cannot provide. These elegant, long-lasting and innovative designs consistently deliver a wow-factor for which we’ve become known. When a client is seeking to create an experiential environment to brand their space or create a memorable place, they turn to GuildWorks.
The original cover for the Riverfront Park Pavilion in Spokane, WA, was a massive full fabric piece. Since the city was revitalizing this iconic structure, rain shelter was less of a priority which opened up other possibilities for design. We were able to create a large scale array that provides a compelling and attractive atmosphere for the stage and plaza. When the sun shines, an elegant shade pattern covers the ground; at night lights reflect off the pieces, creating dynamic visuals overhead. This project recently won 16 awards internationally in 2020!
These are a few of the many important factors when considering a permanent, fabric structure for your project. Our expertise in engineering, design and construction can help you gather the information you need to get started on your project. Our full-service design build studio can guide you through conceptual design, to engineering, to fabrication and installation. To get started with a free quote, take a moment to fill out our online contact form. Our knowledgeable sales team is available to answer all of your questions!
GuildWorks is thrilled that the U.S. Pavilion in Spokane, Washington has won sixteen international, national, and local awards honoring innovative design, illumination, and service as a community gathering space!
Among the awards are the highest levels of recognition offered from these prestigious organizations: Design-Build Institute of America’s Project of the Year 2020, the National Recreation and Park Association’s Innovative Design award winner, the Construction Management Association of America’s 2020 National Achievement Award and 2020 Project of the Year Award, Engineering News-Record’s Landscape/Urban Development Best Project, and the Illuminating Engineering Society International’s Award of Distinction for Outdoor Lighting Design 2020.
Spokane Mayor, Nadine Woodward, said “The U.S. Pavilion is the crowning glory of Riverfront Park, and is getting the recognition it deserves.”
Intended to be a temporary structure built for the Expo ‘74, GuildWorks was tasked with creating a new partial tensile array for the pavilion that would beautifully shade the ground where events take place. Initial designs involved building a separate structure but GuildWorks recommended using the existing Expo ‘74 historical cable net structure.
The historical cable net structure was extensively studied using modern, tensile structure, FEM software. Careful analysis showed that the iconic 1974 structure was not only well engineered and constructed for its time but that the work was quite impressive for predicting the overall shape without modern computing! GuildWorks was able to understand the existing structure, incorporate advanced engineering, and reverse-engineer the 46-year old cable structure.
The new shade array nestles into the existing structure with minimal intervention so as to preserve and enhance the existing geometry. Struts and cables hold seventy-two geometrical diamond membranes in a 3-dimensional shape, stabilizing the entire system and offering a unique visual experience year round. The array allows unobstructed views of LED light blades on the upper sections of the structure, as well. The elegant design array now provides shade and beauty to the new outdoor gathering and event space on the south side of the pavilion.
GuildWorks is proud to have worked closely with other team members and stakeholders on this distinguished project as we all reimagined this iconic structure, bringing it into the future while still honoring the past.
Whether you already have a design in mind or are seeking a full-scale design-build partner, GuildWorks can bring your visions to life.
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GuildWorks, CivicAlliance, BCorporation, and other businesses have joined to be 100% in #fordemocracy because we believe every American has a voice in our democracy, voting should be safe and accessible to all, and elections should be fair and transparent.
We, the undersigned:
• Call for safe access to the polls for all voters.
• Recognize state and local election officials as the trusted source for certified results.
• Encourage patience as officials count every vote.
• Reaffirm that election outcomes are determined by the will of voters.
America’s democracy is strong. Our strength lies in our people – each with the power to shape our country’s future. We celebrate the record number of Americans who are voting in this election. And, we thank poll workers, the essential workers for our democracy.
As our country carries out this historic election in the midst of a pandemic, we are confident that America will meet this moment and continue to serve as a beacon of freedom for the world. #fordemocracy
Who’s excited for Pickathon 2019?! We are! Since 2005 - that’s 14 years! - GuildWorks has been installing tensile fabric structures that provide beauty, shade, and flair to the popular Pickathon Music Festival. Beautifully hand-crafted and colorful, these massive canopies hover ethereally over the grounds.
Built by our world-class design and sky teams, Pickathon's Mountain Stage is one of the largest temporary festival tension structures in the world. Our designs have gone on to create permanent tension structures for places like SOMO Village and the iconic Riverfront Park Plaza Pavilion at the former 1974 World’s Fair site in Spokane, WA.
Installation began last week! Over 250,000 square feet of hand-dyed fabric, 12 miles of rope, 1000 linear feet of stage truss, 10 miles of tension lines, tens of thousands of pounds of tension and thousands of work hours go into building the stage and audience array.
We’ll be at the 21st Annual Pickathon, August 2-4 at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, OR. Come say hi...see you there!