Birdair Modular Structures Create Open, Airy Event Space at South Bend Convention Center
The site of a former power plant located at Century Center Convention Center in South Bend, IN is now home to four linked modular fabric structures by Birdair, Inc.
As part of Birdair’s standard product lines, the Quasar modular structures provide shade and protection for outdoor events such as lunches, receptions and wedding ceremonies. The tensile membrane pavilion resides on the 11-acre Island Park and utilizes approximately 7,900 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane. The Quasar structures specified for the project feature a center column and a hyperbolic paraboloid profile that resembles a saddle.
PTFE, a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane, is capable of withstanding temperatures from minus 100 F to 500 F. It is also unaffected by UV rays, waterproof, and non-combustible. The fabric membrane is long-lasting, durable and requires minimal maintenance to retain its pristine appearance.
“Our firm was commissioned by the city of South Bend to design a unique, permanent outdoor pavilion that would embody the many aspects of future downtown riverfront development, and compliment the architecture of the landmark Century Center,” explains William Lamie, AIA, principal at Architecture Design Group, Inc., the project’s architect. “Our design from the beginning emphasized form, and we chose to consider a tensile membrane roof to achieve the functional aesthetic we wanted. Impressed with Birdair’s vast experience and genuine eagerness to work with us, we chose early on to work together on the design.”
Island Park is situated on the St. Joseph River, which provided some unique accessibility challenges for Birdair to overcome. Birdair staged from a parking lot and accessed the job site via an eight-foot wide pedestrian bridge with loading constraints.
“The Pavilion has truly transformed the riverfront, and complements two of our community’s great urban amenities, Island Park and the St. Joseph River. It has quickly become one of the most popular locations for hosting formal events and ceremonies,” says Lamie. “Many have commented that the Pavilion has been a great investment for the community and it will encourage new development in the area.”
The Century Center Convention Center project was completed in May 2012. In addition to Birdair, the project team included owner Century Center, South Bend, IN, architect Architecture Design Group, Inc., South Bend, IN and general contractor Casteel Construction.