Renowned for its mesh exteriors on newly constructed parking structures throughout the United States and Canada, Cambridge Architectural has developed its very first metal fabric system for an existing parking structure. Distinct segments of mesh dramatically and creatively bring elegant texture to the parking garage serving the Palliser South Professional Building and Office Tower in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Palliser South is a brand new 300,000-square-foot, 19-story office building, and the newest addition to a multi-tower complex dedicated to revitalizing Calgary’s historic business district. However, the building’s adjoining parkade is not a new structure, and therefore needed a redesign to reflect the modern feel of its environment. The addition of Cambridge’s unique architectural mesh façade allows the parkade to exude the same modern, landmark-worthy characteristics as Palliser South and the surrounding complex. The complex appeals to a variety of individuals and businesses, as the hub of commerce for the city of Calgary. Palliser South sits prominently among the city’s best restaurants, business hotels and conference spaces.
A Cambridge Parkade™ metal fabric system creates horizontal and vertical curves along the facade of the Palliser South parkade by attaching straight mesh segments at varying depths to give the building an undulating exterior. The result is a flowing, opulent veil – an uncommon and engaging design for an otherwise standard parking garage.
“We needed to create a façade with visual interest, that was relatively maintenance-free and would create a visual barrier in front of an older monolithic precast parking structure,” says Wade Wheeler, Associate and Production Manager of Gibbs Gage Architects, the architect of the project. “Cambridge’s metal fabric system provided the perfect solution with an aesthetically pleasing result.”
The cascading mesh panels satisfied more than just a design requirement for Palliser South. The stainless steel Parkade system was also built to sustain the Calgary climate, unfazed by harsh winters. Additionally, the mesh pattern’s open area facilitates ventilation – always an important consideration for parking structures.
“The Palliser South project is a great example of our product’s ability to completely transform ordinary buildings,” says Heather Collins, Director of Marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “At the same time, having worked in Calgary previously, we knew that behind the scenes, our mesh would hold up very well in the natural environment.”
Cambridge is committed to assisting the design and construction team from initial concept to final installation on each and every project. For the Palliser South parkade, Cambridge developed an ideal system to address all the visual and functional needs of the architect and the contractors. The system was then specifically engineered to the building’s exterior to assure a streamlined installation.
“Originally, we had specified a glazed curtainwall for this project, but we had to worry about maintenance, cleaning and lack of ventilation,” says Stephen Teal, BD Manager of Flynn Canada Ltd., the contractor of the project. “Cambridge built a mock-up of the system, which really impressed us, and we decided that they had the very best solution for the building.”
The Parkade system was fabricated with mesh in Cambridge’s Mid-Balance pattern, with Stripe and Shade panels, which feature large-scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages and pavilions.
Cambridge’s Eclipse® tension attachment hardware was used to install the Mid-Balance product. Tailored edges are provided for expanses of flexible metal fabric in tension. 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 feet.
Cambridge’s Panel attachment hardware was used to install the Stripe and Shade product. The metal fabric is first attached to a substrate such as MDF, and Z-clips join the panels to the substructure.
Construction on the Palliser South parkade was completed in December 2008. The project team consisted of architect Gibbs Gage Architects, Calgary, Alberta; contractor PCL Constructors Inc., Edmonton, Alberta; building envelope contractor Flynn Canada Ltd., Calgary, Alberta; and facility owner Aspen Properties Ltd., Calgary, Alberta.
Cambridge Architectural Parkade metal fabric solutions lend unique aesthetic appeal, functionality, affordability and sustainable benefits to parking structures. As exterior cladding for parking garages, Parkade applications provide ventilation, fall protection, visibility, headlight attenuation, safety, security and many additional functional benefits. Cambridge offers a wide range of metal fabric patterns and corresponding attachment hardware, and is always available for comprehensive design and engineering assistance. With every project, Cambridge provides turn-key installation.