Award for Excellence 2019, Blinds & Awnings - Commercial

The client requested an outdoor blind solution to fix to existing umbrellas. Corporate branding was required on the new umbrella skins and blinds.

The café was losing a lot of business during storm season. As part of this Café refurbishment, the client wondered if there was a way to maintain their patrons in bad weather conditions. Our scope included a reskin of their existing commercial umbrellas, new internal roller blinds, and a custom outdoor blinds solution which included new framework to fit within the bounds of the existing umbrellas. 

The challenge we had to overcome was in designing a half-enclosed dining area which already housed two commercial umbrellas. Our solution had to integrate two systems; the umbrellas and the blinds. The biggest challenge was to enclose the area without jeopardising the structural integrity of the umbrellas.

We overcame this challenge by designing a completely free-standing pergola styled frame around the perimeter of the area. This was bolted into the existing slab without relying on connections to the umbrella frame. We then fitted an additional PVC skin in between with the umbrella frame and the blinds frame perimeter to completely enclose the area. 

Another one of the challenges posed by this project was the tight turnaround on all these separable portions of the project. We needed to check measure the internal roller blinds and the outdoor frame promptly and move into fabrication as quickly as possible to fit within the fit-out time constraints. This also meant the custom frame solution had to be solidified and approved ahead of time to get underway with fabrication. 
Due to the nature of integrating the extra umbrella fabric with the blinds frame, there were many elements that required detailed attention, and had to be sure they would cooperate without causing any faults or inadequacies in the final outcome.

The final product looks fantastic. All the fabrics and membranes are perfectly tensioned and the branded custom blinds solution fits perfectly with the existing umbrellas to create a unique outdoor dining area for the Coffee Club’s customers.