A custom-printed tensile mesh facade on the Rice University parking garage in Houston, Texas transforms the structure into something iconic. To achieve the architect’s vision of appearing to be an extension of the local oak grove, the coated PES tensile mesh screening was custom printed at four-times scale using a special UV ink and printing process that protects against fading. Trapezoidal panels are installed on an aluminum tension and steel tube structure that allows them to be flat against the seven-story building until they reach the treeline. At that point, the panels will begin to rotate on their structure away from the building, becoming a kinetic sculpture. The coated PES panels provide natural ventilation, which means the parking garage does not need any mechanical ventilation. The tensile screening also reduces solar heat gain and light pollution.
Structurflex handled all design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of the embeds, steel framework, aluminum framing and tensile mesh.
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