Cotton Bowl Stadium Cotton Bowl Stadium / Dallas, Texas, USA

Cotton Bowl Stadium

The stainless steel mesh allowed us to create form for the end zones and to provide a sense of enclosure, while allowing views in and out, as well as air circulation and ventilation through the system.
- Katharine McClellan, Senior Designer, James Carpenter Design Associates, Inc.
  • Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
  • Year Completed: 2013
  • End Use: Stadium
  • Prime Design Firm: James Carpenter Design Associates, Inc. - New York, NY
  • Additional Architect(s): Heery International - Atlanta, GA
  • General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction - Dallas, TX
  • Installer: NOW Specialties, Inc. - Houston, TX
  • Owner: City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program/Dallas Parks and Recreation Department


Part of the Cotton Bowl’s $57 million renovation included cosmetic upgrades to the north and south exterior facades, or end zones, of the historic stadium. A design competition for this scope of the project was held. The winning design concept, entitled ‘Light Veil’, including two Cambridge Architectural flexible mesh patterns and an engineered attachment system, came from James Carpenter Design Associates, Inc. of New York City.

The design intent was to create an enclosure, but to allow for views into and out of the stadium while allowing form to take shape. It was a large area to cover and economical material was needed that would also be able to achieve the desired aesthetics, especially with respect to reaction with sunlight.” JCDA imagined the use of woven metal fabric. “We decided to do a series of ribbons that would come inward from the top of the structure, then cinch and continue to flow downward to create an elegant form. Ribbons of metal mesh would allow us to maintain the curves of the stadium itself.”


Cambridge’s Mid-Balance and Pellican mesh patterns were ideally suited to achieve the aesthetic and light filtering objectives of Light Veil. Cambridge worked closely with James Carpenter Design Associates to explore the most appropriate metal mesh patterns and attachment hardware systems that would best achieve the firm’s vision.

Cambridge engineering professionals worked closely with Heery International, the design/build firm on the project; supplying them with working drawings for this huge mesh panel installation as well as structural attachment recommendations and load details. The final Cotton Bowl exterior renovation specification incorporated 334 Mid-Balance mesh panels measuring 28”x50’ (41,120 sq. ft.) and 174 Pellican mesh panels measuring 26”x20’ (8,232 sq. ft.). All mesh panels were mounted in-tension utilizing Cambridge’s Eclipse attachment system.


Collaboration between Cambridge’s project managers and the contractors (NOW Specialties, Balfour Beatty Construction) began early in the project to effectively transition design and structural requirements through the fabrication process. Cambridge Architectural facilitated a professional installation and provided on-site support to assure satisfactory project completion.

The Cotton Bowl’s stunning and imaginative new facade, now befittingly reflects the pageantry and prestige of the games held at the historically significant sports facility. Cambridge was able to help create a large artwork that allowed use of sunlight which was important to the design, while keeping within budget.

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