Rainier Display

Project Details

Fabric 1

Producer/Manufacturer: OTHER
Primary Use: Main Fabric

Engineer Name 1
Charles Duvall

Engineer Company 1
Duvall Design

Design Name
Gordon Huether

Design Company
Gordon Huether Studio

Architect Name
Gordon Huether

Architect Company
Gordon Huether Studio

Fabrication Name
Bruce Dickinson

Fabrication Company
Rainier Display

Subcontractor Name

Subcontractor Company

Project Manager Name
Phil Finzer

Project Manager Company

Installation Company

Please describe the project specifications

The artist behind "The Canyon" installation at the Salt Lake City Airport is Gordon Huether. Initially, Gordon was inspired by the way nature replaces itself and gradually changes over time. He was struck by the beauty behind canyons, following the concept that canyons evolve and change over millions of years, as rock slowly weakens and crumbles to create an entirely new structure. Gordon began drawing the framework, set it up to scale, and created a base model our of paper. Once the model was complete, the team at Rainier scanned the structured model to bring it through multiple layers of distilling and refinement. The model was then converted into a digital rendering.

To manufacture this project, Rainier purchased a tube bending machine, so that each individual fin could be bent and shaped exactly as drawn. The capabilities of the tube bender allowed us to create over 500 individual tensile membrane fins for the project, over the course of a few years. Once each metal tube is output, the pieces are then tooled and assembled. Each piece is fitted with a custom cover to create the fin. The covers are made from cut fabric on our state-of-the-art cutting tables. There could be as many as fifty to one hundred pieces of fabric on any given fin, which must be sewn and test fitted to each frame. Each fin is then packaged in it's own individual packaging and sent in a container to Salt Lake City, from Seattle.

What is unique or complex about the project?

Rainier Display wanted to manufacture this project because the challenge of combining metal and fabric to create a three-dimensional art sculpture was unique to anything we had ever done before. What sets the project apart is the three-dimensional tube bending - each fin a unique shape and size - with precisely fitted fabric covers.

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