ASU SkySong Innovation Center
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Fabric Type: PTFE
Market Sector: Civic and Community
Project Size: 50,000 sqft
Architect: FTL Design
Owner: City of Scottsdale
General Contractor: Higgins Development Partners
Completion Date: 2009
ASU SkySong: The Scottsdale Innovation Center was built on the site of the former Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona. SkySong is a mixed-use, $5.2 million project consisting of 1.2 million square feet of office, research, and retail space. It also includes a hotel/conference center and multi-family residential units.
The centerpiece of the development is an enormous custom tensile fabric structure supplied by FabriTec Structures in conjunction with FTL Design Architects and Higgins Development. The frame consists of eight steel structures reaching 111 feet in length. These steel “legs” weigh about 2,400 pounds each. The structure peaks at an impressive 125 feet in the air. The frame supports eight integrated conical-shaped pieces covered with 50,000 square feet of Teflon-coated fiberglass (PTFE) material. The fabric is able to withstand 650 pounds of force per square inch once all the connection adjustments have been made. As FabriTec Construction Manager, Deon Kleynhans points out, “Once there is tension and it’s under load, it will be able to withstand the same forces as stainless steel.”
SkySong serves as a model for this century’s workplace environment: a place where business and innovation are one and the same and a global portal connecting the world through technology. Current business tenants include Qwest Communications International and Ticketmaster. All will have access to the resources of Arizona State University who, along with the City of Scottsdale, form the development team.
FabriTec President Claude Centner sees the fabric structure as a major focal point for the development and a landmark structure for the City of Scottsdale that will continually draw visitors to the area. “I’m hoping that people enjoy the uniqueness of the design and ultimately see it as a piece of art,” says Centner. “The overall objective was to create a central point for four buildings. This really brings it all together.” The structure has white lights which enables it to glow at night as well as LED lights that can change color based on a specific requirement or occasion.