LA FE SHOPPING MALL
“Paseo La Fe” is the newest and most modern shopping and business complex in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico. The project comprises a shopping center, housing and office area, hotel and other amenities.
It was a need for the shopping mall “Paseo La Fe” that the roof was totallytranslucent, in order to give visitors a sense of the outside, maintaining a pleasant climate inside at any time of year and to generate interior gardens with natural plants.
Dünn Lightweight Architecture proposed working with ETFE, a cutting edge material with features like transparency, lightness, UV protection, low maintenance and ability to support heavy winds, rain and even snow.
However, Dünn Lightweight Architecture’s proposal went beyond, using inflatable ETFE cushions, which create the tension and strength necessary to substantially reduce the use of conventional metal roof structure, with all the aesthetic advantages that this entails. In addition, the use of air-filled mattresses on the roof
helps creating a proper climate inside the enclosure, so that those who are inside can feel a pleasant atmosphere regardless of the extremes exterior weather conditions, typical of Monterrey.
The process began at Dünn’s Design Area, where our architects and designers began devising the kind of structure that would work properly according to the requirements and high aesthetic criteria to achieve a beautiful and functional work.
Dünn’s Engineering Department was responsible for calculations, simulations, corrections and final engineering to bring to reality the design. In order to check the roof’s conditions of strength and safety, virtual simulations of loads of rain and
snow were made, plus a wind tunnel that allowed that the outside of the roof was designed to move away the air currents and to lessen the wind pressure that the ETFE cushions were experiencing.
Construction began at Dünn’s Steel Factory: DSS Dynamic Structures. Where a light structure that could withstand the loads of the ETFE’s spans which reached up to 40 meters was manufactured. All fastening parts, wiring and clamping systems were designed by Dünn’s engineering team especially for this project. Also a model of the ETFE inflatable cushions was made in order to check the necessary pressure and to create the inflation system; using for that purpose the best pipes and air motors available.
Subsequently, the assembly of the structure and placement of the EFTE’s inflatable cushions system was performed on site. A large team of engineers led the placement of the system. Cranes were used during construction and it was necessary that the Dünn’s installation staff worked at heights, with systems similar to the ones professional climbers use. The whole work was built in record time in order to be ready for the opening of the shopping mall.
This roof is a unique work, more than 6,000 square meters of ETFE inflatable cushions, with various sections and spans up to more than 40 meters long. The transparency of ETFE material allows sky views during the day to give the sensation of an open space, and at night a set of lights and lighting system can be made which give great appeal to the place. This roof system shelters the shopping mall’s commercial track and central atrium, all covered under the most comprehensive security measures.