For a more substantial option, canopies provide a classic, festive look, and can either adjoin a building or stand alone, supported by center and perimeter poles. Finishing a canopy with sidewalls and either clear vinyl or screened windows eliminates the threat of pests without hindering views. Canopies with clear sides are often commissioned for waterfront properties.
Fabric architecture has its place in business as well as residential settings. Architect John DaSilva, design principal of Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, incorporated fabric design into a pool complex at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham. The area features a canvas-covered bar, many large lounge umbrellas, and private cabanas that provide shade for relaxing by the pool. DaSilva explains that fabric structures for a retreat of this nature are perfect because they can be removed easily. Once the season is over, says DaSilva, “the fabric comes down and the structures are no longer buildings. Their framework remains open to the weather.” Stored fabric, unlike permanent structures, is safe from storms and easily repairable.
With a portable and malleable medium, Sperry Fabric Architecture produces many such seasonal canvas creations. To achieve optimum results, Matt Sperry emphasizes individual communication with each client. “We enjoy working directly with our customers to come up with a solution that not only functions well but looks beautiful,” says Matt. “Form and function are treated equally rather than designing toward one or the other.”
No longer confined by the whims of Mother Nature, homeowners can once again enjoy the outdoors thanks to the flexibility and durability of fabric. With modern designs and expert collaborations, a fabric structure can turn an outdoor space into an extension of home.