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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

TENARA® Fabric Transforms Courtyard at Hotel Charleston in South Carolina by SEFAR® Architecture

May 5th, 2017 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: SEFAR® Architecture

On the northern coast of Columbia lies the port city Cartagena, site of Hotel Charleston. Located within walls designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hotel Charleston courtyard is now completely covered with a retractable fabric canopy courtesy of SEFAR® Architecture and Uni-Systems, LLC.

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

  • Architects: SEFAR® Architecture
  • Project: TENARA® Fabric Transforms Courtyard at Hotel Charleston
  • Location: South Carolina, USA

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

Previously, inclement weather conditions prevented full utilization of the space on a regular basis. Now, the courtyard and dining area is protected by SEFAR Architecture TENARA® Fabric 4T40HF, part of a retractable roofing solution for corporate events, weddings and other revenue-generating functions. Engineered by Uni-Systems, the En-Fold retractable canopy system will allow these and other large events to take place regardless of weather.

Peter Fervoy, Vice President of Uni-Systems says, “The Hotel Charleston is right on the Caribbean coast, in a harsh tropical environment. One of the main reasons we chose to use TENARA Fabric is because it is immune to the mold, mildew, and corrosion that can result from the maritime location of Cartagena. It resists all of these environmental factors.\”

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

Amongst scenic palm trees and atop the five-story courtyard, the 3,350 sq. ft. retractable roof system with TENARA Fabric offers protection from rain, sun, and wind – an ideal addition to this historic and unique structure. The irregularity of the 14 m (46’) by 22 m (73’) dimensions at Hotel Charleston offered a unique challenge to builders. No two walls are the same length, nor are they parallel to one another. The flexibility of the retractable TENARA Fabric canopy was a perfect match, pleasing the hotel owner with its performance and look.

Hotel Charleston has reaped the benefits in terms of increased use and revenue, now serving three meals a day without interruption from heavy storm conditions. This is especially vital for the rainy seasons in Cartagena.

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

Surrounded by world-class cultural heritage, and lending to the heritage itself, Hotel Charleston blends Cartagena’s history with contemporary renovations. The TENARA Fabric roof plays along, blending aesthetics and functionality for a seamless addition to a historic structure.

With a 38% light transmission rate, TENARA Fabric allows for light to be diffused throughout the courtyard space while simultaneously providing shade. The 3,287 sq. ft. canopy is permanently UV-resistant, colorfast, dirt and water-repellent, VOC-Free and will not absorb moisture.

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

“With all four sides of this five story tall courtyard enclosed by walls, light transmission was a crucial part of this project,” adds Fervoy. “With a standard PVC coated fabric, the space below would have been too dark, but the high-quality light transmission of the TENARA Fabric creates a well-lit and pleasant space fitting for a high-end restaurant.\”

TENARA Fabric is unique because it is woven from ePTFE fabric and is also fluoropolymer-coated, making the PTFE inherent in the material. As a result, it allows more than three times the light transmission of similar fabric materials – 38% versus the industry standard of 12%. It is also warranted to flex and fold countless times without delaminating or losing strength.

Image Courtesy © SEFAR® Architecture

In terms of durability, TENARA Fabric is inert to UV rays and provides extremely high resistance to material degradation, far surpassing all other materials of its kind. As a result, it offers the industry’s only 15-year replacement warranty. TENARA Fabric is ASTM E84 – Class A fire-rated, making it an ideal canopy material for public spaces.

Hotel Charleston guests now are worry-free of “weather-permitting” occasions and can endlessly enjoy the dining and courtyard space offered by this historic hotel.

Construction on the Hotel Charleston was completed in November 2014.

To learn more about SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA Fabric, visit

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit

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Categories: Courtyard, Hotel

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