In our conversations with architects since the emergence of the COVID virus in the United States, we’ve noticed a trend. There is a renewed emphasis on designing outdoor spaces in response to the social distancing guidelines that have been enacted around the world.
By now, we have all seen studies demonstrating how the coronavirus can linger for hours in enclosed spaces and spread throughout an air-conditioned building like a restaurant. Experts are now recommending that we should open our doors and windows to increase natural airflow and reduce the risk of airborne infections.
Organizations like bars, restaurants, resorts, sporting venues, and parks are looking for alternatives with ample open-air to host patrons safely. They need methods of creating welcoming environments that can host a multitude of visitors while encouraging social distancing.
“We’re getting calls from architects all day long inquiring about canopy structures, covered walkways, and tensile structure options to host the public while providing protection from the elements safely. For years now, tensile structures have been a cost-effective and versatile solution for creating public spaces. Our structures are as applicable during this pandemic as ever,” says Claude Centner, Executive Vice President at PFEIFER Structures.
Tensile fabric structures provide shade and shelter from weather conditions such as sun, hail, snow, and rain. In addition, many designers utilize the unique shapes, forms, textures, and surfaces tensile structures offer to create iconic architectural statements.