Skyfold Classic is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable acoustic partitioning system that is sure to revolutionize the way you design and work more...
Skyfold Mirage is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable glass partitioning system that allows you to take advantage more...
Skyfold Mirage XT is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable acoustic glass partitioning more...
The Skyfold Eclipse is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable room partitioning system that provides more...
Skyfold Classic is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable acoustic partitioning system that is sure to revolutionize the way you design and work with your space.
The Skyfold Classic moveable wall is stored in the ceiling. No floor or wall tracks are required and there are no storage pockets, allowing for more efficient use of space.
Silent and completely automatic, you can reconfigure your space in minutes with a simple turnkey operation. No manual labor is necessary. What used to take hours or even days is now achieved in minutes.
The Skyfold Classic line of lifting walls has exceptional acoustic performance. With an STC rating as high as 57, adjacent spaces can be used for quiet lectures and lively parties simultaneously.
The Classic partition walls can be configured to meet at 90 degrees, providing you with even more flexibility for better space management.
The Skyfold Classic folding wall is ideal for stepped or sloped floors or any combination of the two that are typically found in auditoriums or academic environments.
The Classic product range is available in a wide array of finishes. With no visible hinges or hardware they are sure to meet all your esthetic design needs.
The room dividers are light weight and exert a static load which typically results in considerable savings on structural steel.
The moveable wall can be scaled to fit unlimited lengths with a vertical height of up to 36 feet.
Skyfold Classic is the most innovative powerlift partitioning system on the market today.
Skyfold Mirage is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable glass partitioning system that allows you to take advantage of natural light and at the same time revolutionizes the way you design and work with your space.
The Skyfold Mirage folding glass wall is stored in the ceiling. No floor tracks are required and there are no side storage pockets, allowing for more efficient use of space.
The glass moveable wall can be scaled to fit unlimited lengths with a vertical height of up to 24 feet.
Silent and completely automatic, you can reconfigure your space in minutes with a simple turnkey operation. No manual labor is required.
The powerlift glass partitions were designed with exceptional safety features. The lifting mechanism uses aircraft-grade wire cable. A built-in separate closed loop hydraulic checking system provides sufficient braking should the gear motor lose power. Optical sensors ensure that the travel path is clear of obstacles.
The Mirage glass panel walls are light. They weigh in between 7 ½ to 8 pounds per square foot depending on the finish and thickness.
They exert a static load which typically results in a considerable saving on structural steel.
In order to take full advantage of natural light the Mirage lifting glass wall finishes include clear laminated glass, frosted glass and privacy glass. With a high proportion viewing area they are sure to meet all your esthetic design needs.
Skyfold Mirage glass room divider is the answer when you need both space management and light.
Skyfold Mirage XT is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable acoustic glass partitioning system specifically designed for EXTERNAL use.
It will revolutionize the way entrances and access paths are designed.
The Skyfold Mirage XT folding glass wall is stored in the ceiling. No floor tracks are required and there are no side storage pockets, allowing for more efficient use of space.
Skyfold Mirage XT moveable glass wall can be installed with finished ceiling heights up to 24'.
A single Skyfold Mirage XT glass partition wall can span a maximum of 12 feet between posts. Several Skyfold Mirage XT's can be operated from the same drive system to span larger lengths.
Silent and completely automatic, you can now open your space in minutes with a simple turnkey operation. No manual labor is required.
The Mirage XT folding glass panels are light. They weigh in between 7 ½ to 8 pounds per square foot depending on the finish and thickness.
They exert a static load which typically results in a considerable saving on structural steel.
As the folding glass panels are never handled during operation they will outlast ALL conventional wall systems.
Multiple electrical locking mechanisms ensure that the glass partition wall meets the highest forced entry resistance standards.
In order to take full advantage of natural light the Mirage XT moveable glass wall finishes range from the standard air filled LOW E insulated laminated glass to frosted or privacy glass. With a high proportion viewing area they are sure to meet ALL your esthetic design needs.
Skyfold Mirage XT glass partitioning system lets you bring outdoors indoor. It is ideally suited for a variety of applications including patios, terraces, courtyards or any other interior/exterior combination that could benefit from a unique and spectacular looking entrance.
The Skyfold Eclipse is a custom manufactured, fully automatic, rigid, flat retractable room partitioning system that provides an ideal solution wherever a room divider is required.
School gymnasiums to airport baggage claim areas are just 2 examples of how the Eclipse folding wall can be deployed.
The Skyfold Eclipse retractable wall is stored in the ceiling. No floor tracks are required and there are no side storage pockets, allowing for more efficient use of space.
The room divider can be scaled to fit unlimited lengths with a vertical height of up to 36 feet.
Silent and completely automatic, you can reconfigure your space in minutes with a simple turnkey operation. No manual labor is necessary.
The powerlift partitions were designed with exceptional safety features including a built in infrared detection system.
The vertically folding walls exert a static load which typically results in a considerable saving on structural steel.
As the folding wall panels are never handled during operation they will outlast a conventional wall system.
The Eclipse moveable panels are available in a wide choice of finishes. They are sure to meet all your esthetic design needs.
Skyfold Eclipse is the most cost effective powerlift partitioning system on the market today.
At the Cleveland Browns Practice Facility in Cleveland, OHIO they needed a simple solution to divide up their lecture theater. Skyfold Classic moveable more...
With the Skyfold Classic operable walls already a huge success in their New York office, DS and Moodys Investment service in London had an easy decision more...
A world leader in sustainable design, the renowned architectural firm of LPA chose Skyfold moveable wall system for their assignment at the Flight more...
The recently dedicated $82 million dollar Mitchell Physics Building at Texas A&M in College Station Texas chose a Skyfold Classic more...
At the Cleveland Browns Practice Facility in Cleveland, OHIO they needed a simple solution to divide up their lecture theater.
Skyfold Classic moveable wall was chosen for the superior acoustical performance and the ease of operation.
One operable wall divides the room for the offense -- it separates the backs from the lineman. Raise the folding wall and the offensive coordinator can talk to the entire group.
The other moveable wall divides the room used for the defense -- again, it separates the defensive backs from the linemen. When the individual coaches are finished, raise the wall and the defensive coordinator can address the entire group.
Completed in July 2009, the 2 stepped classic operable walls measure 42 feet wide by 11 feet high.
With the Skyfold Classic operable walls already a huge success in their New York office, DS and Moodys Investment service in London had an easy decision when it came to choosing a supplier for wall dividers for their conference center in Canary wharf.
From an aesthetic, operational and functional perspective, there was no better product to meet Moody's needs.
The beauty of the Skyfold Classic moveable wall being that it moves effortlessly and quietly with a simple turnkey operation.
And because it is stored in the ceiling cavity, it offers incredibly efficient use of space as no wall pockets are required.
The installation completed in June won the AIS Contractor's Gold Award for 2010 in the UK.
There were a total of 3 folding walls, each 26 feet wide by 8 feet high.
A world leader in sustainable design, the renowned architectural firm of LPA chose Skyfold moveable wall system for their assignment at the Flight Projects Center of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in Pasadena California.
Fast and easy to use coupled with highly efficient use of space made the Classic folding wall an obvious choice for the large meeting area.
An added bonus is the energy savings component offered by the Skyfold room divider. Mechanically resilient and extremely pliable end seals ensure a tight coupling against most surfaces to help save on heating, air conditioning and lighting costs.
Completed in December 2008 the 42 by 11 foot folding wall is finished in Designtex.
The recently dedicated $82 million dollar Mitchell Physics Building at Texas A&M in College Station Texas chose a Skyfold Classic stepped operable wall system for their new lecture theater.
Each stepped folding partition consists of 4 separate walls that seamlessly divide the lecture space in half.
Remarkable soundproofing qualities allows for different presentations to be held in adjacent areas at the same time without disruption.
The Skyfold moveable wall solution means the auditorium can be reconfigured in minutes with efficiency and elegance.
Requiring less structural steel than traditional operable wall systems resulted in significant cost savings at Texas A&M.
The moveable walls were installed in June of 2009. The span is 52 feet long and 21 feet tall at its highest point.
The operable walls are finished with red oak veneer on the bottom panels and a Guilford of Maine fabric for the rest of the wall.
Based in Potomac Maryland the law firm of Shulman, Rodgers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker chose a Skyfold Classic folding wall solution more...
The renovation to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC added 48,000 square feet of usable space by reconfiguring more...
The ideal choice when acoustical separation is not an issue, the architectural firm of Naylor, Wentworth, and Lund chose the Skyfold Eclipse operable wall more...
Named in honor of 2 local civil rights activists the Moss Nuckols Elementary School located in Louisa County, Virginia chose a dual panel installation for more...
Based in Potomac Maryland the law firm of Shulman, Rodgers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker chose a Skyfold Classic folding wall solution for their boardroom.
They did not want their spectacular view of the surrounding countryside obstructed when the operable wall was in the up position. Skyfold deployed an innovative architectural element in the form of a glass 'T' where the Classic operable wall intersects with the exterior wall.
The installation completed in June of 2009 has two 24 feet by 9 feet high folding partitions finished in Carnegie Dash.
The client uses this operable wall 3 to 4 times per day. Each time they have a meeting in the space, the wall is in the up position. They lower the wall with their client present.
They call it the "WOW factor" of their redeveloped space.
The renovation to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC added 48,000 square feet of usable space by reconfiguring the interior.
The Skyfold Classic opearable walls provide a unique and dramatic approach to subdividing space.
The wall partitions are fully automated and fold vertically into the ceilings.
With a simple turn of a key, the innovative Skyfold moveable walls quietly descend from above.
Within two minutes the area is transformed into nine different meeting rooms or any number of different configurations.
The Installation completed in January 2010 has a total of 17 folding walls, the largest of which is 86 feet wide by 16 feet high.
The ideal choice when acoustical separation is not an issue, the architectural firm of Naylor, Wentworth, and Lund chose the Skyfold Eclipse operable wall system for the Gymnasium component of their Hurricane Elementary School project in Hurricane UTAH.
The Highly efficient use of space was one of the most important factors influencing the choice of the Skyfold moveable wall.
Stored in ceiling cavities, the problem of where and how to store the operable panels is effectively eliminated.
A Discrete ceiling-mounted motor drive system does away with the need for cumbersome, unattractive wall pockets and frees up precious floor space -- a primary consideration in Gymnasium applications.
Installed in October of 2009 the wall is 52 x 15 feet high and is finished in low maintenance Koroseal Ceres.
Named in honor of 2 local civil rights activists the Moss Nuckols Elementary School located in Louisa County, Virginia chose a dual panel installation for the Skyfold Eclipse operable wall in their new Gymnasium.
Structural considerations played a major role in choosing the Skyfold vertically folding wall system. The load that an Eclipse operable wall exerts on the structure is static and thus distributed over the entire length of the moveable wall thereby doing away with load concentrations and shifting mass.
Weighing approximately 6 to 7 lbs per square foot means substantial savings in the structural steel.
What's more, the drive system is mounted to the same platform directly above and supporting the Skyfold Eclipse movable partition, resulting in further savings in steel costs.
Safety in the school environment was also a primary factor. The folding partitions are operated by two spring return key switches.
Hand pressure must be maintained in order to operate the gym divider. When either key is released, the wall will stop immediately.
Installed in December 2009, the wall measures 52 x 21 feet high and features a Guilford of Maine finish.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C. January 2010
Meeting space (renovation)
Create like-new convertible lobbies / meeting rooms
Forrester Construction / Group Goetz Architects
Installation: 17 Skyfold Classic walls
Finish: Fabric, metal and wood veneer
With Skyfold, a convention center creates new space – without expanding.
Can a convention center expand its meeting area without actually adding new square footage? The answer was a resounding yes for Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where a clever design idea and 17 Skyfold Classic acoustical powerlift partitioning systems captured 48,000 square feet of new flexible meeting space within the original building’s footprint.
The Skyfold walls move 1 foot per 10 seconds, allowing quick event changes.
The architects used a variety of finishes, including custom fabric and wood veneer.
Registration areas quickly become usable meeting rooms, at the turn of a key.
The retrofit and renovation was the ideal alternative to a costly scheme to build an expansion facility across the street alongside a new hotel project, where estimates came in at many times the convention center’s final budget of $14 million. The secret to success? Making two large registration areas convertible as part-time meeting rooms, a gain of about 20,000 square feet each, whenever needed.
“We saved millions of dollars by retrofitting within our existing center instead of building new, additional meeting space,” says Gregory O’Dell, president and CEO of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA). “This also improves our ability to host larger simultaneous or overlapping events.” When the ribbon was cut, WCSA proudly announced, “Skyfold partitions provide a unique and dramatic approach to subdividing space, fully automated and folding vertically into the ceiling.”
On top of that, the resulting transformation has been hailed by event planners and the media alike for its bright, glasswalled meeting rooms overlooking the grand lobby and the 17 innovative vertical “sky walls.” Wrote Washington Business Journal reporter Tierney Plumb, “With the turn of a key, the walls retract down from the ceiling to transform the area within two minutes into nine different meeting room configurations.”
The Skyfold installation accompanied the conversion of offices into meeting space outfitted with custom carpeting, upgraded lighting, and state-of-the-art electrical and sound systems. “We call it building repositioning,” says Al Gooden, principal in charge of Group Goetz Architects (GGA), Washington, D.C. “For this massive endeavor, Skyfold gave us the opportunity to create a much more flexible interior to appeal to a whole new genre of conventioneers.”
“A lot of our groups, such as medical associations, want more breakout and meeting space, and they are willing to pay more to get it,” says John Collins, vice president of facility operations for the Washington Convention Center.
Working with the design-build partners Forrester Construction and GGA, Collins oversaw a reworked space plan, ceiling replacement, and acoustical upgrades in renovated spaces. Selective demolition was needed to accommodate the retractable wall mechanisms, says Amber Kwasniewski, GGA project designer. “The Skyfold walls actually have better acoustical properties than the conventional walls,” she explains, “because it’s 11 inches thick with an air chamber and acoustical panels on both sides.”
The two sides of the Skyfold partitions faced very different spaces, Gooden recalls, calling for two distinct finish palettes. For the grand lobby side, the team selected a honey-colored wood veneer for lower panels and polished chrome steel above, to help reflect light and brighten the space. On the opposite side, where the Skyfold walls face meeting rooms, three patterns of a Knoll wall covering series, in a color matching the walls and soffits, exude a soft moiré pattern. When retracted, the wall panels blend seamlessly with the drywall soffits, appearing as monolithic ceiling beams.“The image that people have is, ‘Oh, it’s an accordion system going up into the ceiling, so it must be like a garage door,’” says Gooden. “In reality, the sky’s the limit on how we finish it.”
“This improves our ability to host larger and overlapping events.”
Gregory O’Dell, President/Ceo, Wash. Convention & Sports Auth.
Collins was already familiar with the Skyfold partitions from his years in the hospitality industry. “We’ve had movable walls before, the kind that folded sideways from the space, but those took up a lot of floor space, which is at a premium, and were difficult to operate,” Collins explains, adding that the Skyfold partitions use a simple key start and tuck neatly overhead. Now, with the convertible registration zones and space savings from wall storage, “our customers have more square footage that can be better utilized,” says Collins, with 198,000 square feet of meeting space and more than 750,000 square feet of exhibition and ballroom area.
For a recent conference, says Peter Shogren, deputy director for facility operations, Washington Convention Center hosted breakfast in three different sections and then flipped the spaces to two sections for lunch, followed by an evening reception and dinner-dance for 1,000 using two large spaces. “It’s like having twice as much space, and our customers sometimes come up with new ideas on how to use the facility,” says Shogren. “We’re really excited about the product. It’s given us a lot of flexibility.”
The design-build team has the special pleasure of seeing their project solution turn into a business boon for the client. “The great thing about this project was that they turned unrentable space into rentable space,” says Forrester Construction’s senior project manager, Byron Howard, adding that Skyfold is uniquely suited to today’s retrofit situations.
And what of the hotel project across the street ? It’s still going forward, says Collins – and there’s a rumor that Skyfold custom powerlift partitions might be specified for their meeting areas, too.
Rather than build a new wing across the street for many millions of dollars, the Washington Convention Center instead used 17 skyfold classic powerlift partitions to convert registration areas on an as-needed basis into meeting areas. The walls, which are key-operated by the meetings staff, can be quickly deployed to change facility configurations in between events.
Texas A&M University
College station Texas June 2009
Education (new construction)
Challenge: Large auditorium with stepped and sloped floors
Team: Michael Graves & Associates (architect) and Vaughn Construction
Installation: 2 Skyfold Classic walls
Finish: Fabric and wood veneer
With Skyfold, an education facility maximises it’s uses - adding flexibility.
Housing one of only three physics institutes in the United States, an impressive new facility at Texas A&M University boasts a six-story atrium with a giant pendulum, a lecture hall named for Stephen Hawking – and a LEED Silver rating.
A gift of oil pioneer George P. Mitchell and designed by the renowned Michael Graves & Associates, this think-tank of physics and astronomy contains 200,000 square feet of labs and classrooms for world-class scientists and undergrads. Inside, a large, steeply raked lecture hall for as many as 468 people offers good views of the day’s speaker or experiment. At the turn of a key, twin Skyfold Classic custom powerlift partitions glide down from the ceiling, creating three rooms for 156 occupants each, within a minute.
“With Skyfold, we were able to divide a sloped, stepped space, at an STC of 50.”
Mark Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP Senior Associate, Michael Graves
“We had never used Skyfold before, but we were looking for a solution to the challenge of dividing a sloped, stepped space using the least amount of floor space necessary,” says Mark A. Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP, senior associate with Michael Graves. “Another factor was the STC rating of more than 50, which is excellent. Many accordion partitions tend to lose their STC rating over time as the sliding reduces the effectiveness of their gaskets. Skyfold walls maintain their acoustical performance over time, and that was a big factor – you don’t want to hear the rock concert next door when you’re trying to give a test.”
Highly regarded for its prowess in the sciences, Texas A&M’s physics department had been growing quickly. The new Mitchell physics complex links an elliptical, 45,000-square-foot institute for physics and astronomy, by bridge, to the main physics building, “the department’s workhorse,” Sullivan quips. The result is undergraduates rubbing elbows with senior researchers and faculty, which can cause friction. The large auditorium needed maximum flexibility for lectures, events and other programming. According to John Collins of RSM Services, more education facilities are now opting for stepped walls to resolve varied schedules within large, multiple-use learning spaces. “It does seem to be a popular trend, and the endusers love Skyfold’s performance,” he says. Sophisticated engineering and tight tolerances allow the Skyfold walls to properly mate and seal with each riser, independently and automatically. The partition system’s weight is distributed along the entire span, eliminating high concentration loads that increase structural steel costs for traditional systems.
For the shared lecture hall, this meant flexibility and ease of use, whether for physics club meetings or high-level science symposia. “We just hosted a large, international conference for 250 people,” says Melanie Becker, a Texas A&M professor. “It was very successful thanks to this much, much nicer space.”
In fact, Collins notes that the Texas A&M project design team toured a similar installation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, or UMDNJ. There, two large Powerlift walls also divide a large auditorium into three lecture halls. “One of the best ways to understand the benefits of Skyfold is to come watch them work. Even if it’s just a video clip, they say wow,” says Collins. “But seeing them in action at UMDNJ helped the architect decide to use Skyfold in the first place.”
The project team used the retracted Skyfold walls as part of the ceiling detail.
Texas A&M faculty and students have keys to the walls, which move 1 foot in 10 seconds.
Designers selected a neutral fabric with a eucalyptus veneer base for the walls.
As more educational facilities opt for stepped walls to resolve varied schedules with a single, multiple-use auditorium, Skyfold offers an effective, lasting solution. The partitions are carefully engineered to properly and completely seal against the risers’ horizontal and vertical surfaces, resulting in a very high STC rating. The Texas A&M design team visited other schools using Skyfold partitions in this way, including the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
After electing to recommend Skyfold, the project architects addressed key technical questions with Texas A&M’s facilities team, headed by Bill Scott, construction project manager, and Randy Wipke, area manager for six Texas A&M University System campuses. Chief questions asked included:
The team unanimously agreed to use Skyfold, with a neutral color palette to offset a splash of maroon carpet – a nod to the Aggies official color.
Functional and fluid, the auditorium serves as the heart of an innovative, sustainable building that meets the goals of Texas A&M’s master plan and green mandates. “It was one of the first buildings on campus to pursue a LEED rating,” says the architect Sullivan, adding that the Skyfold walls contain recycled steel and aluminum.
On the outside, the complex is true to the signature and storied profile of Michael Graves himself. Three kinds of brick and custom shading delineate crisp, geometric lines – and protect the labs inside from the intense Texas sun. Large expanses of glazing add character and scale to the building, projecting an image as scientific as its true mission.
“I hope these buildings will provide an innovative and inspiring atmosphere for students and faculty to study, teach, research and enjoy,” says George P. Mitchell, the project’s chief patron. “I believe that the physics program at Texas A&M will continue to foster important research and attract outstanding students and faculty from all over the world.”
Blue Valley Southwest High School
Overland Park, Kansas, December 2009
Classrooms & Gymnasium (new construction)
Design challenge: Create flexible learning spaces and gymnasiums
Design Team: HTK Architects with Perkins+Will
Installation: 1 Skyfold Classic™ wall, 4 Skyfold Eclipse™ walls
Panel finish: Vinyl wallcovering - Porcelain Series
Strategically placed, easy-to-use and durable — Skyfold retracting walls maximize flexibility and space at a new Kansas high school.
Schools old and new have relied on operable walls for ages to make educational and extracurricular spaces more flexible. Yet, for Blue Valley Southwest High, a new campus located in a 21,000-student district in the bustling Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, the project team broke with tradition by upgrading to Skyfold.
Frustrated with the maintenance and operational issues associated with standard operable partitions – including the set-up time and the lack of consistent acoustical performance – Scott Crain, director of design and construction for the district, searched for a different solution.
“The goal was to improve space options while maximizing return-on-investment, or ROI. Working with Topeka’s HTK Architects, Chicago’s Perkins+Will and general contractor Crossland Construction, the group acted to reduce construction cost, maximize the usable square footage of the building, and lower the maintenance over the life of the partitions,” say Mike Bono, president of Abbey Simons, a Kansas City-based supplier of window treatments, folding doors and operable partitions. Two applications were needed, according to Gary Howard, athletic director and vice principal: Separation between the main and auxiliary gyms and four “flex” classrooms adjacent to a student gathering area. The wall in the flex classrooms can be raised to create double-sized learning areas accommodating 60 students.
“This was the first time we considered using Skyfold after numerous projects with typical sliding partitions,” says HTK Architects’ project leader, Burke Kitchen, AIA. “Paired horizontal partitions with drop-bottom seals don’t tend to last very long – the seals lose the ability to operate and sometimes get snagged in the carpets. For the big wall between the two gyms, opening and closing a manually operated sliding-type wall takes time, strength and skill. The school planned to use the wall multiple times per day, so Skyfold’s quick operation was a plus.”
Beyond complementing the architectural look of this state-of-the-art secondary school, the Skyfold wall systems offered other benefits as well. First, the project team anticipated a 40% savings in structural steel costs for the related wall areas because the Skyfold partitions weigh less than typical operable walls. Add to that further savings in maintenance costs and the increase in usable space – no floor stack is required – and the high ROI was obvious. The estimated payback for using Skyfold would be three to six years.
The high school used Skyfold walls to enlarge classrooms and divide the gym, at the turn of a key and pressing a few buttons.
The Skyfold walls move 1 foot per 10 seconds, allowing fast, easy room changes.
The architects specified white and off-white protective vinyl finishes to match the modern design.
“The wall is used multiple times per day, so Skyfold's quick operation is a plus.”
Burke Kitchen, AIA, Project Architect, HTK Architects
A number of additional benefits were considered by Scott Crain and his team. Among the most important:
The designers at HTK Architects and Perkins+Will made Blue Valley Southwest one of the country’s most beautiful and state-of-the-art high schools, selected by Newsweek for its prestigious Top U.S. Schools list. From its theatrical central courtyard to the smooth concrete floors and large windows throughout, the facility is strikingly attractive yet simply detailed and cost-conscious. Skyfold was a natural specification: In both retracted and deployed positions, the walls are attractive – with custom panel finishes in easy - care vinyl to match the architectural interiors. White was selected for the gymnasium to seamlessly integrate with the clean, painted walls; off-white for the flex classrooms complements the school’s contemporary interiors.
For Burke Kitchen at HTK Architects, the proof of Skyfold’s value is in the ease of use and efficient facility operations. “Reactions concerning the Skyfold partitions have been positive. Both Scott Crain and Gary Howard, previously at another high school, had experience with the other type of folding operable walls,” says Kitchen “They’ve been pleased with the Skyfold walls.”
Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver, B.C.
Project type: Hospitality / Hotel (renovation)
Design challenge: Merging two ballrooms
Design team: B+H CHIL Design (interior design); Vertical Solutions (supplier)
Number of walls: 1
Largest size: 55’1” long and 15’11” high (16.53m x 4.533m)
Motor style: Standard drive
Panel finish: Vinyl, Koroseal Excess Vicuna
Installation date: February 2012
Skyfold Classic 51™ converts floor area from a service corridor into functional space for this ultramodern, high-tech Vancouver hotel.
Capturing back-of-house hotel space for front-of-house use is no easy feat. Yet that’s what a last-minute retrofit achieved in a clever reworking of the award-winning design of Fairmont Pacific Rim, a five-star property featuring ultramodern interiors. A brainstorming session for increasing floor area and flexibility of the function rooms led to the ingenious expansion opportunity, opening up the walls to a shared service corridor and kitchen to expand the hotel’s popular ballrooms.
Two ballrooms – one large and one small – were originally separated by the corridor’s fixed walls. The new layout called for demolishing the walls to make it one very large space. The Skyfold Classic 51 acoustical powerlift partitioning system was installed at the midpoint of the former corridor. In this way, Fairmont Pacific Rim gained the flexibility of having a supersized ballroom with the wall up – or, with the partition deployed, two back-to-back function spaces, each now about 3.5 feet wider.
The hotel solution brings an elegant, modern visual appeal and new ways to divide the ballroom. Even better, the hotel can now market a very large ballroom, something they didn’t have before. And instead of two traditional operable walls back-to-back, which the hotel is using in other locations, it’s just a single, 12-inch-thick Skyfold powerlift partition that meets and exceeds the required level of acoustical performance.
To accomplish the task, the team selected a Skyfold Classic 51™ acoustical powerlift partitioning system to maximize interior flexibility while blending harmoniously with its modern design and detailing. “They decided they could eliminate that service corridor and still have sufficient back-of-house functionality,” says Jim Edgecombe, the Skyfold dealer for Vancouver, B.C. “The 56-foot-long partition retracts into the ceiling in just under three minutes.”
So when the 16-foot-tall Skyfold partition is closed, the Fairmont Pacific Rim has two attractive rooms (one large, one small) with full acoustical separation and privacy behind sleek matching wallcovering – and no visual evidence that it’s an operable wall, Edgecombe adds.
According to hotel engineers and managers, the Skyfold Classic 51 requires little maintenance and is easier to operate than other retracting walls. The staff has been thrilled with the operation, flexibility and sound performance that the powerlift partition system delivers.
Skyfold’s precision engineering, finish options and fast, reliable operation also matched the transformative ideas brought to the 800,000-square-foot waterfront hotel by real estate developer Westbank Projects Corp. and their design team, led by architect James KM Cheng Architects and interior architect B+H CHIL Design. The concept positioned Fairmont Pacific Rim as “the first contemporary Fairmont Hotel in Canada,” according to Claudia Leccacorvi, a project designer with B+H CHIL Design. New standards for the property’s modern décor included a standard walnut wood and a signature statuario marble, as well as custom light fixtures and vinyl wallcovering.
The Skyfold powerlift partition – another new Fairmont standard – was added later with matching surfaces. Sleek and carefully detailed, the Skyfold powerlift partition has no exposed tracks, and its reveals are slender and consistent – an ideal complement to the hotelier’s vision of a sophisticated, cosmopolitan image.
The hotel is now able to market a very large ballroom, or it can offer two back-to-back function spaces separated by an acoustical wall that matches its sleek, modern decor.
The 16-foot-tall Skyfold partition retracts into the ceiling in just under three minutes – about 1 foot per 10 seconds.
With a high-quality, protective vinyl finishes to match the modern interior, the wall has no exposed hardware or tracks.
“Skyfold’s precision engineering and acoustics earned it preferred status.”
Steve Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Skyfold
The Skyfold Classic 51™ partition boosts the flexibility of the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s 15,000 square feet of versatile function space in ways unlike standard retractable walls. “It’s a precision-engineered, resilient partition designed for a highly controlled acoustical environment,” says Steve Miller, Skyfold’s vice president of sales and marketing. “These properties are very different from conventional retracting walls; the Classic is literally two steel walls nearly 12 inches apart with an air chamber and acoustical panels between them.”
In addition, the Skyfold partition can accommodate a variety of finishes as specified by the designers. When it’s not needed, the wall system retracts fully into a ceiling pocket in minutes, blending with the ceiling plane – a visually clean, minimal look that attracted the hotel project team. Another benefit is the simple, quiet operation of the partition: The 16-foot-tall partition fully retracts or deploys in about three minutes; a 9-foot-tall Skyfold model takes about 60 seconds.
In business terms, the new ballroom layout offers more rentable square footage and more room configurations – with none of the lost space and obstacles common with storing side-stack retractable walls. The hotel can drop the partition when needed – for example to cater two luncheons, back to back – and then raise the partition in minutes to quickly set an evening gala.
With these advantages, the hotel operator elected to make Skyfold a standard for all its properties, says Miller, gaining the rare honor of “preferred supplier status” for the Fairmont Hotels brand.
Attention to detail is what made Fairmont Pacific Rim the No. 5 top Canadian hotel in 2012 and a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice. The Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia gave it a Silver “Award of Excellence,” and Condé Nast readers voted it the only hotel in Vancouver for its 2012 Gold List. Contributing to its success is a powerlift partition that looks like it belongs – and disappears in a snap when needed.
With the Skyfold Classic 51 in place, the renovated Fairmont Pacific Rim enjoys its ease of operation and perfect acoustics every day. The hotel’s executives are planning to use the Skyfold system more as they grow, gaining the hotel more space and adaptability without added work – a prospect that pleases the banquets director and meeting planners.
Skyfold is proud to attend the following events. Be sure to stop by our kiosk to learn more about our products and meet with one of our sales representatives. We look forward to seeing you!
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair
June 10 to 12, 2013Details...
AIA13 National Convention and Design Exp…
June 20 to 22, 2013Details...
AIPC 2013 Annual Conference
June 30 to July 3, 2013Details...
IAVM Annual Conference 2013
July 27 to 30, 2013Details...
SCUP-48 The Corner
July 29 to 30, 2013Details...
August 4 to 6, 2013Details...
Arc Middle East
September 13 to 16, 2013Details...
September 26 to 29, 2013Details...
IFMA World Workplace 2013
October 2 to 3, 2013Details...
Healthcare Facilities 2013
October 1 to 3, 2013Details...
NeoCon East 2013
October 16 to 17, 2013Details...
Hi Design Asia
November 6 to 8, 2013Details...
ARC - US
November 7 to 10, 2013Details...
Healthcare Design Conference 2013
November 16-19, 2013Details...
March 9 to 11, 2014Details...
June 26 to 28, 2014Details...
June 10 to 12, 2013
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair
June 20 to 22, 2013
Colorado Convention Center
AIA13 National Convention and Design Exposition
June 30 to July 3, 2013
AIPC 2013 Annual Conference
Cape Town, South Africa
July 27 to 30, 2013
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
IAVM Annual Conference 2013
New Orleans, LA
July 29 to 30, 2013
San Diego Convention Center
SCUP-48 The Corner
San Diego, CA
August 4 to 6, 2013
Fairmont Banff Springs
September 13 to 16, 2013
Arc Middle East
September 26 to 29, 2013
Boca Raton, FL
October 2 to 3, 2013
Pennsylvania Convention Center
IFMA World Workplace 2013
October 1 to 3, 2013
Healthcare Facilities 2013
October 16 to 17, 2013
Baltimore Convention Center
NeoCon East 2013
November 6 to 8, 2013
Shangri la Macten Resort
Hi Design Asia
November 7 to 10, 2013
ARC - US
November 16-19, 2013
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Healthcare Design Conference 2013
March 9 to 11, 2014
Dana Point, CA
June 26 to 28, 2014
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