PTFE Fiberglass Membrane Fabric Offers Shade and Enhances Outdoor Experience for Mall Patrons

The Domain Mall - Birdair

The Domain Mall features 100 upscale and mainstream retail stores and restaurants, almost half of which are exclusive within the market. A sampling of retailers includes high-end boutiques such as David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co. and Austin’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as more traditional retailers like American Eagle Outfitters, Banana Republic, Express and more.

Using cables and PTFE membrane, the steel and cable structure stretches about 15,000 square feet, with PTFE fiberglass membrane fabric covering about 5,700 square feet of that 15,000 square feet.

Using cables and PTFE membrane, the steel and cable structure stretches about 15,000 square feet, with PTFE fiberglass membrane fabric covering about 5,700 square feet of that 15,000 square feet.


The mall owners wanted to improve the shopping experience, adding to the high-class ambience of the mall with a stunning landscape renovation, including a unique cover for the common area. Birdair provided just the look they wanted. Using cables and PTFE membrane, the steel and cable structure stretches about 15,000 square feet, with PTFE fiberglass membrane fabric covering about 5,700 square feet of that 15,000 square feet.

“The Domain is an upscale shopping destination in the Austin area, where the mall owner was looking for some enhancements. Simon Properties and Beck made a conscious decision to upgrade some of the surrounding areas for a better shopping experience. We were approached to assist in helping to develop a unique and different look at the architect’s direction. The intent was to utilize cables and components of architectural membrane to enhance the outdoor experience for patrons,” says Douglas Radcliffe, business development manager, Birdair North America. “We were able to achieve the architect’s vision and make this an even more enjoyable retail destination.”

The unique and colorful “mandolin” shade structure was part of a several million dollar landscaping renovation covering approximately 10,000 square feet of the mall’s common area. Birdair’s unique structure offers shade for customers and creates an area designed for live music performances, festivals, markets and holiday activities. A tree-lined pedestrian promenade, with shaded gathering spaces and children’s play areas, now connects the north and south plazas. New lighting and trees rounded out the improvements, along with new signage. The project began in the summer of 2013 and was completed in February 2015.

The unique and colorful “mandolin” shade structure was part of a several million dollar landscaping renovation covering approximately 10,000 square feet of the mall’s common area.

The unique and colorful “mandolin” shade structure was part of a several million dollar landscaping renovation covering approximately 10,000 square feet of the mall’s common area.


The project is owned by Simon and designed by Beck Architecture with general contractor Beck Group and landscape architectural company Bury. Birdair’s scope of work included design, fabrication, supply and installation of the PTFE membrane, clamping, cables and structural supporting steel.

Birdair’s PTFE fiberglass membranes can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat, to the hot and dry Texas climate, with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years. The fiber coating is chemically inert and capable of withstanding extreme temperatures. It is also completely immune to dangerous UV radiation. This unique combination of inertness, thermal stability and surface properties make Birdair’s PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring superior weather and fire resistance. PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is extremely durable and weather resistant.

Few products in the commercial building products industry can compare to the attractiveness of a tensioned fabric structure. Birdair’s solutions transform a typical shopping outlet into a first-class shopping destination that provides a dramatic, eye-catching appeal to visitors.

Fabric structures are not only visually appealing but are environmentally sensitive and economically competitive, as well. Lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution because it requires less structural steel to support the roof or façade, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers building owners reduced construction and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.

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