Google’s headquarters, referred to as the Googleplex, in Sunnyvale, Calif., uses SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA Fabric to shade the central plaza of a recent campus expansion—and the fabric has completely transformed the newly-outfitted space.
The plaza features a large curved steel trellis, with several hundred triangles of TENARA Fabric. Designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates and engineered by Thornton Tomasetti, the project required nine distinct triangle shapes to fit within the steel geometry. Each triangle had to be within 1.5 inches of the connector hubs when fully tensioned.
To accomplish the design goals, installer Duvall Design Inc., experimented with different shapes and patterns of fabric membranes to find the best fit.
“We started the Google project by producing several mock-up triangles, which we tensioned on steel frames and shipped to the job site,” says Charles Duvall of Duvall Design Inc. “After many experiments, we found an unusual curved shape, which was shallow in depth, yet allowed the membrane to tension evenly. This curve is somewhat flat across center and pointed at the corners of the triangle.”
Duvall Design Inc. then developed a series of fourteen laser-cut and formed hubs out of stainless steel plate, which simply bolted onto threaded studs that were retrofitted onto the existing steel.
Aesthetically, the trellis creates a shade pattern, like the sun passing through leaves on a tree. The fabric’s industry-leading light transmission rates of up to 40 percent provide superior translucency for effective and appealing light diffusion without affecting light temperature or light transmission negatively.
“When discussing fabric options, TENARA Fabric immediately came to mind because of its ability to diffuse sunlight,” says Duvall.
By using this product, the project team was able to achieve the maximum amount of sun protection below the innovative structure while retaining the ambiance of sunny California—all because of TENARA Fabric’s unique ability to diffuse light without blocking it completely.
Not only does the fabric light brilliantly and drape beautifully, it also lasts ultimately because of its PTFE coating. The product will look new, even after many years. In addition, the fabrics have excellent chemical resistance and high resistance against extreme temperatures and UV radiation, and provides a 15 year replacement warranty—another reason the team working the project chose the material
This newest addition to Google’s campus, is part of Google’s deal to lease four office buildings in Sunnyvale at Moffett Park’s Technology Corners. The buildings will be able to accommodate as many as 2,900 employees.
To learn more about SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA Fabric, visit http://www.tenarafabric.com.