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Large Fabric Systems

Roller shade ZIP systems with extra large fabric panels


There are certain situations when a standard exterior roller shade is not an appropriate solution. It may be an especially wide opening with a need for a high degree of light blocking. In those cases it may be desirable to utilize a system with extra large fabric panels and locking ZIP channels.

Example project: The Shed, Hudson Yards, New York


The Shed in Hudson Yards, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a cultural center in New York that commissions, produces and stages a wide range of activities in performing arts, visual arts, and pop culture. The building is on wheels and when parked, it sits over the podium of the Bloomberg Tower, also designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The building can be deployed beyond the podium to create a large, adaptable performing arts space.

The design of The Shed presented many challenges including the need to create blackout for performances in the space. Draper worked with one of its European partners, Guillaume Janssen, to produce shades to blackout the glazed areas at the bottom of the structure. Many of these glazed areas were doors that could be raised to allow large staging items to be brought into the performing arts space. Each section of glazing was generally 5' wide and up to 34' tall. Some of the glazing was also trapezoidal in shape.

In order to achieve the maximum amount of light exclusion, a decision was taken to use zip systems with the fabric edges locking into the side guide tracks. This meant that a bottom-up trapezoidal system had to be developed to address the more complex areas. Additional challenges included the integration of the shades into the building structure which resulted in several of the system's components being designed and extruded to meet the specific project requirements. Addressing the electrical wiring and controls, particularly given that many of the shades were mounted on doors that could be raised, also created challenges that needed to be resolved for a successful installation.

In addition to the systems in The Shed, Draper also worked with Guillaume Janssen to design and manufacture skylight shades for the podium building. Once again, high levels of light exclusion were required and custom tension skylight zip systems were developed. The systems on one skylight were approximately 14' wide with a draw of approximately 42'. The systems for the other skylight were broadly 8' wide by 44' draw.

System mockup.
Installation on an operable door.

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