Fresco Shades 

Project name:  Black Rice
Fabric used: Vinistar
Fabric Supplied by: TopFab

What did the client request?

Black Rice is a restaurant with an outdoor area that had been a wind tunnel and largely unusable. Surrounded by tall angled pillars (a design feature), it looked architectural, but had not been designed with the idea of extending a restaurant.

The brief was to fully enclose the space to create extra seating, so for this project to succeed we needed to deal with the Body Corp, Body Corp reps, Building Company and the Owner. The negotiations were interesting, and carried on over several weeks.

What is unique or complex about the project?

This was the first time we have attempted something of this scale for curtains/screens. The design changed several times, and several CAD drawings were required to illustrate the look and feel. After numerous meetings and negotiations, the final design was approved, encompassing a mix of statics, doors and ziptrak blinds. Also fire doors were installed to comply with Bodycorp requirements – we made these as well.

For the install, height was a significant issue – about 5.5m – necessitating mobile scaffolding. The wind was also a big factor, hampering installation, and we volunteered to strengthen the frame once we experienced the force of the wind (the original stronger frame had been changed to be smaller at the client’s request to fit with their budget but that clearly wasn’t going to work!) Design wise we had to tailor the curtains around different shapes and numerous obstacles, while working around the angled roof and angled posts. In addition drainage grills on the ground were in the way of the posts.

While we were working on site, there were other large construction projects being completed nearby, which created an issue with dust everywhere.
Further the restaurant backed up against another restaurant (which also now has our screens), so we created separation between the 2 restaurants with vertex ziptrak screens for privacy.

What were the results of the project?

This job led to work creating similar screens for 2 adjacent restaurants, and all three can now serve their customers in any weather, and after further sealing with extra flashings, door brushes and weather strips, they now have a clean and safe environment.

The final result exactly met the brief, all three restaurant owners are delighted, while we were relieved to see the entire structure survived the extreme winds of recent weeks.