When Google announced they were doubling the size of its Kirkland campus, they wanted a unique, non-symmetrical and totally different canopy as part of their new, fun, whimsical and stimulating facility. The architectural and engineering firm of DLR Group, in partnership with property owner SRM Development, were tasked to design an iconic piece to be installed in the center of Google’s newly expanded complex. From the success of the MOHAI Project in Seattle, SRM Development approached Eide Industries to assist with the design-refinement, fabrication and installation of this monumental tension structure.
Although the architects would have preferred a flatter canopy, due to snow load requirements one end of the structure was redesigned to be 25-feet higher. Additional cables were also introduced by Eide to provide adequate slope and prevent water ponding. Five (5) upright canopy support columns were strategically attached to the underground concrete pillars of the new two-story parking structure (720 stalls). As it turns out the 14″ thick concrete deck was strong enough to hold the light-weight fabric structure at any location, not necessarily on top of an underground pier.
The architect’s original concept was to have the canopy free-floating in the air with a 2-foot gap between the fabric and frame along one edge. Eide introduced a series of threaded rods to the design, which not only accomplished this artistic feature, but also maintained the engineering strength to meet both wind and snow loads. The top membrane cover was also designed with diverters to re-route runoff rainwater away from pedestrian walkways.
Due to the accessibility issues of the job site, Eide’s Team coordinated the use of two large cranes, capable of lifting the various lengths of 14″ to 20″ diameter steel tubes, from a local service roads to hold the frame pieces in place throughout the project.
Project Name: Google Campus
Project Location: Kirkland, WA
Membrane Type: Flame-retardant, Serge Ferrari 1202 T2 PVC Coated Polyester
Wind Loads: Engineered for 85 MPH Wind Loads, Exposure “B”
Total Project Size: Approximately 93′ Projection x 96′ Wide