As one of the world’s leading providers of architectural mesh systems, Cambridge Architectural’s innovative metal fabric systems have lent aesthetic appeal, sophistication and functionality to countless structures, including theaters, restaurants, museums, hotels, universities, parking structures and more.
Adding to the Cambridge, MD-based company’s ever-growing portfolio is the newly constructed mixed-use office tower at Providence, RI’s GTECH Center. There, a Cambridge metal fabric Facade system drapes the lower floors of the building’s exterior.
GTECH, the world’s number one provider of lottery systems and services, recently relocated from its former headquarters in West Greenwich, RI, to a newly built facility in Providence. As an integral part of the construction, the building’s three-story parking garage required a distinctive exterior cladding material that would additionally provide sun shading. Cambridge Architectural’s Facade mesh system offered the perfect solution, enveloping the structure in panels of burnished woven metal fabric that shade, screen and modernize the facility.
“After researching different mesh suppliers, we found that Cambridge Architectural offered a wider selection of metal fabric options than its competitors,” explains Nathaniel Finley, Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc., AIA/project architect. “The metal fabric was a cost-effective solution for the draped aesthetic that we were looking for.”
“Cambridge’s Facade mesh systems continue to provide solutions for parking garage applications,” noted Heather Collins, director of marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “Our unique metal fabric systems offer combined aesthetics and functionality, resulting in an ideal exterior cladding material.”
Cambridge was also able to effectively offer solutions for other challenges associated with the project.
“We had a design intent that only used four connection brackets per panel,” continues Finley. “Typically these supports occur horizontally every 30 inches, but Cambridge worked with us to find a solution that used a heavier bracket and greater spans, which was actually more economical to install than the typical detail.”
Stunning expanses of mesh in Cambridge’s Cubist pattern, which features 74% open area, were attached in tension with Cambridge’s Eclipse attachment hardware to create the Facade mesh system. The metal fabric fulfills the project’s visual requirements, lending a modern, sophisticated look to the finished structure.
“The mesh is very beautiful and catches the light in unexpected ways,” adds Finley.
The finished 10-story, 210,000 sq. ft. GTECH Center became operational in October 2006, and houses a ground story featuring restaurant and retail space, along with six stories of office space.
The additional three stories of parking are open to both employees and the general public. The newly constructed tower is the first new office building to be built in Providence in 16 years, bringing a modern new aesthetic to the area that integrates well with the historic architecture of the city.
“We were definitely pleased with the final results,” says Finley. “In fact, we are proposing to use Cambridge Architectural’s products for current and future projects.”
The project team consisted of Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Inc., project architect, Boston, MA, and Capco Steel Corp., project manager and distributor, Providence, RI.
Cambridge’s Cubist metal fabric pattern features large-scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages and pavilions.
Eclipse tension attachment hardware was used to install the Cubist product. Tailored edges are provided for expanses of flexible metal fabric in tension. Elegant, custom cut apertures receive the metal fabric ends in tubing that is integrated into a bracket and structural support design. Tube sizes may vary to emphasize or de-emphasize the attachment. The Eclipse hardware is appropriate for lengths of metal fabric held in tension up to 100’.
Cambridge Architectural has fabricated architectural mesh systems for dozens of parking facilities and other structures, and maintains a fully-staffed engineering department to assist with installation details, framing design and load characteristics, as well as on-site installation supervision.