Span Systems Inc. Manchester, NH

Project Details

Fabric 1

Duraskin B 18059
Producer: Verseidag-Indutex GmbH

Engineer Company 1
Span Systems Inc.

Design Company
Span Systems Inc.

Architect Company
Ai3 Architects

Fabrication Company
Span Systems Inc.

Subcontractor Company
Agostini Bacon

Installation Company
Span Systems Inc.

Please describe the project specifications

This unique, interior project called for twelve (12), ten-foot-square PTFE Hy-Par tensile structures to be suspended from the ceiling of the new Plymouth High School Auditorium. These structures provide a striking and original treatment for the ceiling of this space. The Hy-Par membranes are supported by a stainless steel cross comprised of rolled steel square tubes in opposing curvatures.

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

The project's purpose was threefold. Primarily, the "Clouds" as they are called provide a dramatic and unique look with the undulating surfaces suspended from above. They also serve to hide the mechanical components, HVAC ducts, lighting, sprinkler system from the sudience view while keeping them easily accessible for servicing. Thirdly they are designed to enhance the acoustics of the space and eliminate flat, acoustically reflective areas in the auditorium.

What is unique or complex about the project?

Using a PTFE coated fiberglass fabric for an interior application is an unusual approach that was selected because of the additional stiffness provided which is not typical of tensile fabrics designed for indoor uses. The crossing members had to be large enough to support the tensile elongation required but the overall "Cloud" needed to be as light as possible for suspension from the ceiling resulting in use of thin, stainless turnbuckle hangar rods to support the panels. Each unit was also fitted with a discreet sprinkler head at the center of each one.

What were the results of the project?

For a one-of-a-kind auditorium ceiling the "Clouds" elements have proved to be popular with the owners. The real test will come when this school facility opens to students. The clouds have proved to be a new and successful use of a non-traditional tensile fabric for an interior application and may inspire further innovation in this area.

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