Metal Mesh Canopy Minimizes Glare and Offers Shade

The draped metal mesh canopy provides shading while offering connectivity to a redesigned amenities building and indoor eating space.
The draped metal mesh canopy provides shading while offering connectivity to a redesigned amenities building and indoor eating space.

The outdoor dining area at The Towers @ Great America (TAGA) multi-tenant office complex in Santa Clara, Calif., includes a draped metal mesh canopy that provides shading while offering connectivity to a redesigned amenities building and indoor eating space.

The mesh awning, manufactured by Cambridge Architectural, “casts soft shadows to assist in minimizing intense sunlight and glare and provides a fun element to the outdoor dining area,” says Jason Slatinsky, senior associate, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.

Little and Architects AP+I Design were charged by PGIM Real Estate and building manager Harvest Properties to convert TAGA’s outdated indoor/outdoor common area from a convenience space to a prime feature of the property that promoted gathering and group activities. A giant outdoor media wall is the focal point for meetings and presentations as well as entertainment for employees seated in the dining area. 

The canopy is affixed to a pergola-like structure using a custom Channel attachment system from Cambridge.
The canopy is affixed to a pergola-like structure using a custom Channel attachment system from Cambridge.

Completed in 2018, the redesign was needed to enhance TAGA’s position in the competitive Silicon Valley market. TAGA, an established Class A office property, is located next to California’s Great America theme park and Levi’s Stadium, home to the 49ers professional football team.

Craftsmen at Cambridge Architectural on Maryland’s eastern shore wove 70 stainless steel panels, a total of 2,258 square feet, for the project using Cambridge’s Mid Shade pattern with 42 percent open area to provide shading. It is affixed to a pergola-like structure using a custom Channel attachment system, also from Cambridge.

“The draped metal mesh canopy casts soft shadows to assist in minimizing intense sunlight and glare,” Slatinsky explains. “The segmented draping of the mesh creates a rhythm along the overall canopy profile that coincides with the structural articulation and curtainwall spacing found in adjacent building elements.”

The outdoor eating area is directly adjacent to the interior dining space, which is separated by a 45-foot-long mechanical sliding glass wall. The canopy acts as a continuation of the overhead plane; especially when the wall is open, according to Slatinsky.

The outdoor media wall is the focal point for meetings and presentations as well as entertainment.
The outdoor media wall is the focal point for meetings and presentations as well as entertainment.

In addition to offering shading for diners, the mesh, according to Cambridge’s Business Director David Zeitlin, supports PGIM and Harvest’s overall sustainability goals for the property.

“Increasingly, architects and building owners are looking to metal mesh because of its sustainable benefits,” Zeitlin says. “Unlike other building materials that might be used, the mesh awning is virtually maintenance-free and is made from recyclable metals.”

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