Univ. of Delaware Reimagined

Challenge: 

By using non-traditional materials, like undulating coiled wire fabric walls and ceiling treatments, the new iSuite boasts an impeccable, award-winning design. Designed by Page, the former metal foundry turned iSuite includes a cyber range, collaborative hub and a maker space. Working with the college directly, the facility was designed using Page’s 3D printers and a student-created virtual reality model, developing a half-scale mockup to demonstrate that inverting the metal fabric would, in fact, be successful.

“We’ve seen metal fabric draped as a catenary before, but this is the first time someone has used Fabricoil in the ‘wrong direction,’” says Lou Krupnick, aia, associate principal at Page. “We reversed the fabric and used its tensile properties to produce a curve that way.”

The space features 750 sq. ft. of 5⁄16-in. 15-gauge aluminum Fabricoil with a powder-coated satin copper finish. The resulting ceiling treatment produces “true curves,” with the coiled wire fabric wall constructed in a similar fashion. University officials credit the innovative space with an “immediate and noticeable increase in enrollment,” helping the school project a particular image that truly speaks to the students.

Criteria: 

“Coiled wire fabric really fit into the electrical genre of the collaborative space,” adds Krupnick. “The aesthetic capability and design opportunities with Fabricoil are boundless, and we are very pleased to have utilized the material in an all-new way.”

Hovering over the collaborative hub, the coiled wire fabric weaves through room-wide lights providing a well-lit atmosphere and effective light diffusion throughout the space. In addition, the coiled wire fabric walls add dimension to the space without obstructing views for students and faculty.

Solution: 

Cascade Architectural’s Fabricoil is a woven metal fabric with material strength, ideal for interior or exterior applications. As demonstrated in the iSuite, Fabricoil allows architects to meet project criteria without sacrificing their design vision. Fabricoil products also carry Declare labels with the International Living Future Institute. The facility was recognized with a Construction Excellence Award by the Delaware Contractors Assn. for being the most technologically innovative project of 2017.

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