Uni-Systems LLC Minneapolis, MN

Project Details

Fabric 1

Tenara 4T40HF Architectural Fabric
Producer: SEFAR AG, Architectural Fabrics
Supplier: SEFAR AG, Architectural Fabrics

Engineer Name 1
Joe Lane

Engineer Company 1
GLR Engineering

Design Company
Studio Collective

Architect Company

Fabrication Name
Gerald Thompson

Fabrication Company
Awnings of Hollywood

Subcontractor Name
Chris Thompson

Subcontractor Company
Awnings of Hollywood

Project Manager Name
Pete Fervoy

Project Manager Company
Uni-Systems, LLC

Installation Name
Gerald Thompson

Installation Company
Awnings of Hollywood

Please describe the project specifications

A fifth-floor terrace open-air dining area for the Quinto la Huella restaurant located in the EAST, Miami hotel, part of the Brickell City Centre downtown Miami. Automated and hand-controlled retraction; high durability PTFE Tenara® fabric by Sefar.

What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?

Since 2011, when the $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre mixed-use development was announced by Hong Kong-based developer Swire Properties Ltd., the focus on this financial district complex has been on high quality design. One of the major elements to this center is the newly opened 40-floor EAST, Miami hotel by Swire Hotels (a subsidiary of Swire Properties), designed by star Miami architects Arquitectonica, known for its high design, high quality projects such as the 1980s landmark luxury condominium Atlantis (made world famous when it was featured in the opening credits to the TV series “Miami Vice.”) Quinto la Huella is the first U.S. outpost of the famed Uruguayan beachfront restaurant Parador la Huella. The 9,700 square-foot eatery, with its open-air terrace, has seating for a total of 359 and is designed with Feng Shui, bio geometry and a balanced flow of energy in mind by LA-based Studio Collective. Five drive beams that control the 88 feet by 32 feet fabric canopy are anchored to the hotel’s structure at the drive end and are supported at the far end by a row of steel columns that flank the restaurant’s defining trellis, ensuring protective coverage of patrons on this fifth floor (quinto) rooftop venue.

What is unique or complex about the project?

A key selling point to the Brickell City Centre project has always been the ribbon-like elevated 1,000-foot long trellis (branded “Climate Ribbon” by Swire) that twists and turns between buildings for several blocks high above the open-air retail walkway. The steel and glass ribbon redirects rainwater to irrigate landscaping and focuses breezes that blow off of Biscayne Bay through the retail areas in place of mechanical air conditioning. This emphasis on sustainability and energy conservation is reinforced at Quinto la Huella by the use of the 88 feet-wide fabric retractable canopy that echoes the fixed Climate Ribbon’s aesthetic quality in its folds and dynamic movement of opening and closing in response to the changing weather. Complicating the installation is a 3-foot jog in the wall where the drive end of the canopy attaches to the building, a condition accommodated by using drive beams of two different lengths. As the EAST, Miami hotel building was all new construction, the retractable canopy system necessarily had to be fabricated before the final “as built” structural dimensions of the hotel were established. Connections between the supporting drive beams and the hotel structure also meant that shop fabrication required several inches of tolerance. Installation scheduling also needed to take into consideration a very active jobsite with all trades working simultaneously within a confined area. As the canopy extends to the very edges of the fifth floor terrace, some of the canopy work meant suspending install crews over the sidewalk below.

What were the results of the project?

This is an example of a successful joint project between Uni-Systems (responsible for design, supply, and technical support for the En-Fold® retractable fabric canopy) and Awnings of Hollywood, (responsible for engaging the general contractor, supplying and installing the structural steel elements and a maintenance walk/protective metal hood above the retracted fabric, in addition to installing the En-Fold system). Quinto la Huella's retractable fabric canopy ensures active use of the restaurant’s roof top terrace in all weather conditions and reinforces the Brickell City Centre goal of using natural, sustainable environmental management systems.

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