An opportunity for design freedom allowed Cornerstone Architecture, Oklahoma City, to impress at Round 1 Bowling And Amusement in Taunton, Mass. With Flex-C Trac by Flex-Ability Concepts, the ceiling of the concourse entrance to the entertainment center was transformed into a fun and sophisticated art form.
Cornerstone Architecture has designed all 10 of the Round 1 facilities across the country, and each location in existing malls has provided different design opportunities. Until this point, curved metal framing had been used in the ceilings over the main seating areas; blue LED lights were embedded in the curves to give the look of ceiling clouds. The Taunton site offered a large concourse area that Shane Labeth, principal architect with Cornerstone, thought could be transformed into something great and beyond what had been done at other locations.
“Depending on the mall, there are opportunities few and far between," Labeth said. "With this one we were given extra space that we don’t usually receive. The curved framing appeal really made sense to us to create something fun.”
The design team took a layered approach with 3-5/8” 16-gauge, 3-5/8” 20-gauge and 3-5/8” 18-gauge Flex-C Trac. These products were used to create a two-tiered cove with a wave design that is 120 feet long. The flow of the ceiling is highlighted by LED lighting. Flex-C Trac allows high-quality curved walls, columns, arches and S curves to be created. Labor costs are reduced because using Flex-C Trac is so simple. The track is curved to the desired position and held in place with Hammer-Lock tabs that embed into the web. The track is then fastened to the floor or ceiling.
Flex-C Trac was recommended by the general contractor Barsto Construction, Kansas City, Mo. Rita Oliveira, estimator, and Louie Medeiros, president of South Dartmouth Construction, Dartmouth, Mass., were familiar with the product because they have successfully installed it in the past, and they knew it was the right choice for this complex installation.
“This is the best product to use for this type of layout versus say snipping the legs of a standard piece of track to create a radius," Oliveira explained. "There are other flexible tracks on the market, but we prefer this brand because of the locking tab system that the others don’t offer. Once you determine your layout, you simply bend the tab over and it locks in place so your shape is now secure. You are constantly back tracking your work when using the other products to reshape your radius.” Oliveira notes her company has worked with Flex-C Trac in the past to create half round walls, but this was the most sophisticated layout her company has ever done.
The bowling alley opened on December 26, 2015, with a big wow at the entrance that has not gone unnoticed. Labeth said he has heard from the mall owner and customers who are impressed by the concourse, saying how inviting and fresh it is.
“The curves add a uniqueness to the bowling center and speak to what will be experienced inside,” Labeth said. “It is clear this is a place that provides entertainment when you approach, but it is not just for kids. There are shapes and forms that appeal to kids, but there also are certain elements designed to appeal to adult customers.”