University of Arizona Thomas Keating Bioresearch and Medical Research Building University of Arizona Thomas Keating Bioresearch and Medical Research Building / Tucson , Arizona, USA

University of Arizona Thomas Keating Bioresearch and Medical Research Building

Mesh: Shade
Attachment: Custom
“One of the unexpected aspects of the mesh was its visual interplay with the environment. I was standing beneath the structure, and when I looked up it was as if the sky and the clouds were being projected onto the mesh. Cambridge’s material offers a visual treat in addition to shading.”
- Kyle Peyton, P.E., Sr. V.P., T.A. Caid Industries
  • Location: Tucson , Arizona, USA
  • Year Completed: 2006
  • End Use: Academic
  • Architect: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP – Los Angeles, CA
  • General Contractor: Hensel Phelps Construction Co.– Tucson, AZ
  • Installer: T.A. Caid Industries – Tucson, AZ
  • Owner: The University of Arizona



A striking 300-ft. long, 87-ft. tall steel shade structure from Cambridge Architectural covers a large rooftop courtyard area between the University of Arizona’s new Medical Research Building and Thomas Keating Bioresearch Building. The canopy-style ramada was created using a Cambridge Architectural mesh application consisting of 240 4-ft. wide by up to 37-ft. long mesh panels, stretched between stainless steel cables. The canopy achieves an unparalleled aesthetic, featuring clean, cascading sections of metal fabric that form an impressive exterior design element.

Cambridge’s system captures the brilliant visual play between architectural mesh and the Arizona sun, creating a pleasant and eye-catching exterior environment.


At the University of Arizona, metal fabric features 43% open area, assuring maximum sun filtering while allowing free airflow between the panels. The mesh panels were also installed on an angle to allow for optimized shading in the rooftop courtyard area, which turned a heat island into usable space for the students to gather.


Cambridge Architectural applications always combine superior aesthetics with high quality performance, eliminating the need for additional materials. At the University of Arizona, long mesh panels are stretched between stainless steel cables. The cables are integrated into the mesh panels to accommodate effective tensioning without any intermediate supports within the panels. As a result, the support structure is independent of the building’s rooftop structure. Additionally, the durability and lifecycle of the mesh panels reduces maintenance costs, and assures that there will be no need for replacement materials.

Cambridge’s mesh system boasts many sustainable properties, all of which apply to the University of Arizona project. Mesh is readily recyclable and manufactured from recycled materials. It can be mounted to existing building structures with minimal support, it can provide airflow into a space while shading, and it has a virtually maintenance-free and indestructible lifecycle. Cambridge Architectural is an active member of the USGBC®.

Return to Top ^
University of Arizona Thomas Keating Bioresearch and Medical Research Building | Cambridge Architectural


Status message

The webform component hubspot_url is not able to be displayed
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.