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Translucent TENARA® Fabric Retrofits Light Canopies at St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Multiple Layers of Fabric Offer Flexible, Elegant Light Diffusion

Publish Date: Monday, November 10, 2014

DEPEW, NY…SEFAR® Architecture’s TENARA® Fabric has completely transformed light canopies at the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Paired with a new lighting system, the fabric provides an elegant, yet enduring solution for the once-obsolete canopies.

Originally designed and constructed in 1996, the light canopy frames at the St. George Terminal esplanade were outdated, not only in terms of their light source, but in their surrounding materials as well. Their first iteration was comprised of an A-series light fixture with spherical acrylic housing. They became difficult to maintain and their degradation led to the need for a new type of light and a more durable material to more effectively and more beautifully transmit the light.

Multiple layers of TENARA Fabric 4T40HF in a star pattern were installed around the center ‘cone’ of each of the 12 light canopies. The pattern accommodates the shape of the canopy frame, and its additional layers closer to the center post reinforce the fabric at its most tensioned spot.

The retrofitted canopies now feature an induction lighting system, which is typically used for suspension bridges. The advanced system uses a polycarbonate lens and is ballasted for cooling. TENARA Fabric diffuses the light and expands in tension, cleanly billowing out above the light to fill in the canopy’s frame.

Together, the TENARA Fabric and the new light source create dynamic structures that are illuminated in both a beautiful and usable way.

“The high translucency of TENARA Fabric made it ideal for a backlit lighting application, and the color temperature of the light coming through is superb,” says Nic Goldsmith, Senior Principal at FTL Design Engineering Studio, the designer of the project.

TENARA Fabric’s industry-leading 40% light transmission rate provides superior translucency for effective and appealing light diffusion without affecting light temperature or light transmission negatively. And because it is woven from ePTFE yarn and coated with PTFE, TENARA Fabric is inert and highly resistant to blemishing and degradation, far surpassing all other fabric materials – perfect for busy setting of the St. George Terminal.

“TENARA Fabric can expertly transmit any kind of light, natural or artificial, without compromising its quality or trueness,” says Peter Katcha, Director of North American Sales for SEFAR Architecture. “This project is an example of how our fabric is multi-functional while serving the nuances of exceptional design.”

In the design stage, numerous lighting mock-ups were created to test various materials and applications for the light canopies. TENARA Fabric was the clear winner, excelling in translucency, color temperature, and resilience.  

“No other fabric could perform like TENARA, while at the same time providing extreme flexibility and durability,” adds Goldsmith.

To learn more about SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA Fabric, visit http://www.tenarafabric.com.

The St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal light canopy retrofit was completed in September 2014. The project team included designer and engineer FTL Design Engineering Studio, New York, NY, tensile fabric membrane, custom hardware and installation by Eventscape, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, lighting designer Leni Schwendinger, and the New York City Department of Transportation. 

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit www.sefar.us

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit www.sefar.us.