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Cambridge Architectural Creates Distinct Metal Mesh Designs for New Luxury Apartment Facades

Company sees rising Interest from multi-family developers and architects

Jul 16, 2018

With Millennials placing increased emphasis on design as a deciding factor in where they choose to live, multi-family housing developers are looking for distinct architectural features to stylize their projects in competitive apartment and condominium markets.

One popular choice is metal mesh. Cambridge Architectural Mesh recently created two unique installations for design-centric apartment buildings inLos Angeles and Austin.

Working with Cuningham Group Architecture, Cambridge wove five, four-story metal mesh sails for the exterior balconies at VINZ on Fairfax near Beverly Hills. In South Austin, PSW Homes architects engaged Cambridge to brand a façade with Thornton Flats’ signature leaf pattern created using antique bronze powder-coated stainless steel.

The two projects support what market research is saying about residential living preferences among younger adults.

At a National Home Builders Show seminar held in January, presenters from Meyers Research and Danielian Associates Architecture + Planning addressed how good design is important to the Millennial generation in an educational session titled:  “Two Millennials Tell All:  Deconstructing Today’s First-Time Home Buyers & Their Design Preferences.”

Cambridge Business Director David Zeitlin said much of the recent interest in metal mesh designs is coming from multi-family developers and architects in cities where large numbers of Millennials are migrating.

“While Multi-family has not traditionally been a place where we’ve seen use of architectural mesh systems, there is increasing interest from this important market segment,” he said. “I think designers are now embracing the unique combination of material depth and limited structural requirements that our systems provide, while offering solar heat gain and glare reduction, a pallet for graphical branding, and flexibility in form; all while maintaining outward views for residents.  Likewise, owners are seemingly excited that these attributes are available in a range of price points that fit a variety of project budgets.

VINZ and Thornton Flats, according to Zeitlin, are two examples of how mesh can enhance the aesthetic qualities of a multi-family project.

VINZ on Fairfax

For the five-story luxury apartment building, Cambridge crafted five mesh sails incorporating more than 6,444 feet of metal in Cambridge’s Balance pattern with 52 percent opacity. Supported by steel frames attached to the primary structure using Cambridge’s Eyebolt system, the sails span from floors two through five on the exterior balconies.

Small exterior lights affixed to the top of the steel frames wash the sails with changing colors at night.

“The Cambridge metal mesh ultimately satisfied the high performance and aesthetic standards for our project while fitting within the client’s budget,” said Jack Feichtner, Associate Principal, Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc.

The sails also helped to deliver screening and solar-shading benefits according to Feichtner.

“In addition to the desired aesthetic, the porosity of the mesh adds some privacy to the exterior balconies, while allowing view and light through for occupants,” he said.  “It also helps cut out some of the less desirable low-angle sunlight for the residential windows and balconies behind the mesh.”

Location:        Los Angeles, California

Owner:           Alliance Residential Company

Completed:    2018

Architect:       Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., Culver City office

Engineering:  Structural, KPFF Consulting Engineers; Civil, KHR Associates

Installer:         Eli Industries

Thornton Flats

A smart-growth, urban infill project, Thorton Flats is an apartment community with 104 units in a quiet residential neighborhood. To help create a “chill” South Austin vibe and accentuate the indoor/outdoor living space, a metal mesh leaf pattern – the signature icon for the community – marks and accentuates one of three apartment buildings.

Designers began with 10 panels of raw stainless Cambridge Mid Balance mesh. A Matisse-like, leaf cutout was created in the stainless by powder-coating the surrounding mesh in antique bronze, which looks black.

A tan wall behind the 50 percent opacity mesh creates a 3-D-like effect.

Subtle-color changing lighting provides additional depth to the façade in the evening.

“We really liked the translucent layering design opportunities the mesh screen offered as well as the long-term durability of powder-coated stainless steel,” said Andy Webre, Architectural Project Manager, PSW Homes.

The metal mesh joins leaf murals done in other mediums that appear on two additional buildings in the community.

“The leaf graphics turned out to be a great way to give residents an icon that is representative of their values and those of PSW,” Webre said. ‘We wanted them to have a sense of distinction and place other than a boring building number.”

Location:      Austin, Texas

Developer:    PSW Homes, LLC

Completed:    2018

Architect &

Contractor:    PSW Homes, LLC

Installer:        L&S Erectors



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Cambridge Architectural Creates Distinct Metal Mesh Designs for New Luxury Apartment Facades | Cambridge Architectural


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