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Award of Excellence

Houston’s Restaurant Outdoor Dining Canopy

Structurflex

Structurflex was responsible for delivering a turnkey solution for an outdoor patio and dining area in Pampano, Fla., that was covered by an awning at the end of its life. The scope of work included design collaboration with the owner's in-house design team, complete engineering of the structure and complete installation of the supplied materials and systems.

The structure needed to provide shade and shelter for year-round dining and create an ambience clearly separate from the interior, a dimly lit, more intimate space. It was important to retain certain design characteristics of the interior space. The interior was filled with warm timber elements that helped soften the hard lines of the architecture. Southern yellow pine was used as the primary structural material for the outdoor space. It was complemented with painted white structural connection elements and stainless steel cabling typically used in the sailing industry.

Because the outdoor space fronts the inter-coastal waterway, the structure needed to make a comfortable and seamless transition from the interior dining space to the waterway. This structure met the client’s needs and has become the restaurant’s preferred dining area.

Bringing together several differing building materials—membrane, timber, nautical hardware and structural steel—was a challenge architecturally and structurally. Close attention to detail was critical. In addition, the close proximity of the connection details to the patrons required an exceptionally high degree of craftsmanship.

The stucture’s installation had a tight time frame to avoid disrupting the daily business for any extended period of time. Because the structure was completely pre-engineered and fabricated off-site with no requirement for field modification, the stucture was completely erected and tensioned in a matter of days. Other traditional systems may have taken weeks to install.

The owner is very happy with the project and has considered similar feature structures for other locations.