Three-dimensional façade of the Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage
Year of construction
Name of the client/building owner
New York City Department of Design & Construction, Division of Structures and New York City Dept of Transportation
Function of building
Degree of enclosure
Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
Number of layers
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Space defining elements
The award nominated Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage in New York features a façade comprising a three-dimensional surface of lines produced by offsetting two layers of synthetic cable on galvanised steel rods. Constructed in 2017, the façade demonstrated the suitability of synthetic cable as both a decorative and constructional element in architectural design. It shows the application of synthetic fibre cable in a static application.
By offsetting the two layers of 1 ¼” (3.175 cm) composite cables, a dynamic visual effect was produced. When the two layers - one planar and the other folded - are viewed together, moiré patterns are created by the interference of the crossing lines. The patterns seemingly move across the face of the building as the viewer’s position changes. Depending on the viewer’s vantage point, the façade appears to shift from a solid, metallic folded surface to a lightweight scrim to a transparent web of lines.
The synthetic fibre cables span from the first floor to the roof and are fastened to stainless steel end-fittings with integral turnbuckles for adjustability. At the intermediate levels, stainless steel “O-rings” attach the outer layer of cables to galvanised steel “combs,” anchored to the floor slab at each level. The cables are positioned to give the appearance of being woven on a loom. The inner layer is composed of straight lines that are attached only at endpoints.
Material = stainless steel-jacketed, composite synthetic fibre cables (Supplier Phillystran)
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Covered surface (m2)
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure