Busier Than Ever: OpenAire Builds Dozens of Retractable Roof Projects around the World

Among many projects this year, OpenAire has completed 7 custom retractable enclosures, is in-progress on 10 huge builds, and has just added 6 new structures

For over 25 years, OpenAire has been showing clients and partners around the world the benefits of efficient, customized retractable roof enclosures for waterparks, hotels, restaurants, health clubs, aquatic facilities, and residences. Now, more people than ever are discovering the OpenAire advantage for their properties, making 2016 one of the busiest years in the retractable roof specialist’s history. Currently, OpenAire has many retractable roof enclosure and operable skylight projects in progress, including 10 major projects in locations around the world and more than 6 others already completed this year. With this many innovative architectural projects internationally, OpenAire’s operable solutions are letting the world reach the skies. Here are some of the structures that OpenAire is making possible in 2016.

The Epic: Grand Central, Grand Prairie, TX: In 2015, the Texas city of Grand Prairie had the ambition to build a lasting recreational space in the spirit of New York’s Central Park. To make their dream a reality, the City Council chose the best developers for the job, including OpenAire, to create Epic Waters for the Epic Grand Central. The Epic is a monumental complex that will provide 172 acres of concentrated recreation space for all of Grand Prairie’s 185,000 citizens. The 62,000 square-foot (5,759.98 square meter) Epic Waters will be the largest indoor waterpark in the US under a single retractable roof.  This could only be made possible with OpenAire’s signature thermally broken aluminum construction, polycarbonate roof and insulating glass at all the vertical walls. The Epic will be completed in the fall of 2017 and will make for a world-class destination that truly reflects its name.

Sharjah Shopping Mall: OpenAire created a unique oval skylight for the centrepiece of the amazing 280,000 square-foot (26,012.85 square meter) Sharjah Shopping Mall in the United Arab Emirates. Built with a durable aluminum frame and glazed with insulating glass, this skylight will be the largest aluminum dome in the Middle East.  Measuring 242’-9” (74m) long by 154’-2”  (47m) wide and standing 68’-10” (21m) high, this skylight will cast the main retail areas in vibrant, inviting natural light. OpenAire is excited to be a part of this monumental project and looks forward to Sharjah Mall’s completion at the end of 2016.

Diamond Park Waterpark, Gabala, Azerbaijan: This waterpark and amazing entrance area is truly one of a kind 96,356 square foot (8,956 square meter) structure.  At 56,100 square feet (5,214 square meters), it will be the largest waterpark in Azerbaijan. The enclosure measures 150’ (45.75m) by 362’-9” (110.72m) with an arched roof reaching 60 feet (18 meters) high at its peak and strikingly unique diamond-patterned sidewalls.  The curved roof includes 30 operable roof panels that open seamlessly in warm, sunny weather, blending the huge indoor waterpark with the open skies of the great outdoors and amazing views of the surrounding mountains.  Attached at one end is a slide tower measuring 49’-6” (15m) x 26’-3” (8m) and rising to a height of 77’ (23.3m), contributing another 1,300 square feet (120.77 square meters) to this already impressive structure.

Adding to the geometric patterned glass architecture, OpenAire created an entrance structure for the park that is also unprecedented. Cascading from the front of the waterpark, this impressive 40,256 square feet (3,896m) entrance area measures 86’-9” (277.55m), x 464’-0” (141.5m) with an unforgettable diamond-patterned glass façade. This amazing design is sure to be an experience unlike anything guests have seen before and is certain to get notice from architects worldwide.

Luzhniki Olympic Park, Moscow: Following its selection as host of the FIFA 2018 games, Russia is doing a major upgrade to the iconic Luzhniki Olympic Complex, which will feature a new design from OpenAire. Luzhniki will soon be home to an expansive indoor Aquapark facility with a customized 74,776 square foot (6,847 square meter) curved skylight with retractable roof panels. The aluminum-framed, polycarbonate glazed structure will create a unique environment for swimmers of all ages, opening up to the sun and fresh air of warm days, yet closing quickly and securely at the first sign of precipitation or in cold weather. The result is an outdoor-style pool that can operate and stay warm through Moscow’s long cold winters. Opening in 2017, it will be an exciting compliment to a bold stadium design dating back to 1956.

Kalahari Resorts, Pocono Mountains: After completing a huge 72 foot by 150 foot (21.95 meter by 45.72 meter) custom retractable skylight for Kalahari Pocono Mountains’ original 100,000 square-foot Phase I in 2015, OpenAire is now onto building Phase II of the highly popular African-themed waterpark’s expansion, set to be completed in the fall of 2016. This new addition will add two 134 by 50-foot (40.84 by 15.24-meter) glazed roofs to the park, one with a 35’ (10.66m), high glass front wall and a glass gable end rising to a height of 50’ (15.2m), as well as two large 50 by 50-foot (45.72 by 45.72-meter) pyramid skylights and a 30’ x 40’ (9.14m x 12.2m) ridge skylight with retracting roof panels. In all, the expansion will add another 100,000 square feet to Kalahari Pocono Mountains, for a total of 200,000 square feet of indoor aquatic attractions under one roof, the largest of its kind in the United States. Guests are sure to love this naturally lit, expansive park as much as the first OpenAire addition.

The Plunge, San Diego: Located in Belmont Park, this historic San Diego swimming pool has operated since the 1930s, but needed to be closed in 2015 for renovations and repairs due to deterioration from moisture and pool chemicals. The newly renovated facility will include a spectacular OpenAire retractable enclosure with an expansive curved roof. At 21,000 square feet (6,400 square meters), this enclosure will give swimmers beautiful views of the skies and the adjacent Pacific Ocean, letting them enjoy ample fresh air and ocean breezes, while also staying true to The Plunge’s classic design.

The Hyatt House, Jersey City: Located on the historic site of the former First National Bank of Jersey City, this new 13-storey, 258-room hotel will offer visitors a spectacular stay in the heart of Jersey City’s waterfront, as well as fantastic views of the city and waterfront thanks to an attractive rooftop terrace design. OpenAire created a 3,520 square-foot (1,072.9 square-meter) motorized telescoping roof that will shelter the hotel’s inviting rooftop lounge. Located on the Hudson River directly across from the Freedom Tower, the lounge’s views of the New Jersey waterfront and the New York City skyline will be amazing. This rooftop enclosure creates an outdoor environment that can be used any time of year and will be the crowning touch on the Hyatt House when it opens at the end of the year.

Fitzhugh Aquatic Park: In the fall of 2016, the town of Batesville, Arkansas will unveil Fitzhugh Aquatic Park, which will offer the community both indoor and outdoor water facilities. While the outdoor section includes a dive pool, wading pool, water slide and more, the indoor section will feature an 8-lane swimming pool, splash pad, and heated therapy pool and bathhouse, all located in an expansive 95 by 224-foot (28.95 by 68.27 meter) enclosure designed and installed by OpenAire. This open-concept, 21,000 square-foot (6,400 square-meter) structure will allow visitors to Fitzhugh to enjoy sunlit aquatic fun any time of year thanks to its retractable panels, which open in warm conditions but offer shelter in cool or inclement weather. It’s a solution unlike anything before in Batesville.

All of these exciting upcoming projects do not even include the designs that OpenAire has already completed in 2016. Early this year, the Heritage Adult Living Community in El Dorado Hills, California opened a new 6,000 square-foot (1,828.8 square-meter) indoor pool for its fitness center, featuring a beautiful retractable glass enclosure from OpenAire. This vibrant new pool allows El Dorado residents to swim in the sunlight and fresh air of an outdoor environment any time of year. OpenAire also completed a 12,240 square-foot (3,730.75 square-meter) operable skylight for the new Cape Codder Indoor Water Park in Massachusetts this year, which will give the 30,000 square-foot (9,144 square-meter), family owned park the perfect outdoor aquatic atmosphere year-round. In Rapid City, South Dakota, WaTiki Waterpark commissioned OpenAire to build a 2,400 square-foot (731.5 square-meter) retractable roof addition onto its original 19,500 square-foot (5,943.6 square-meter) indoor waterpark, whose enclosure OpenAire had originally built in 2013. OpenAire’s first double-sloped operable enclosure design proved to be very successful; the new addition has helped WaTiki meet the growing demand from visitors to South Dakota who are looking for fun in the sun any time of year.

Beyond aquatic attractions, this year has also seen the completion of several projects for a variety of businesses, not to mention a number of beautiful private residential installations. Following the runaway success of its first retractable skylight installation in 2015, The Crooked Cue Pub and Pool Hall asked OpenAire to build a second retracting skylight structure for the other half of its roof. The new second skylight was completed this summer and will let the sun bathe the entire upper level in natural light, just as soon as The Crooked Cue completes its interior renovations. In Durango, Colorado, OpenAire’s operable design solutions have given students and researchers new learning opportunities at Fort Lewis College, where this year the retractable roofing specialist completed a new 350 square foot (106.68 square-meter) enclosure for the college’s state-of-the-art rooftop observatory. Just like the Crooked Cue, the structure retracts completely off the opening to make an unobstructed opening for the telescope.

Finally, the former Southway Inn, now The Waterford Retirement Community – Ottawa, and the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites are both offering their residents and guests new OpenAire enclosures this year with incredible results. The Waterford Retirement Community – Ottawa will soon unveil what was an outdoor courtyard surrounded on all sides by buildings, and now is a year-round indoor atrium sheltered by a gracefully-curving, 6,200 square-foot (1,889.76 square-meter) retractable roof. In Toronto, the Hilton opened an elegant indoor pool with an open-concept retractable enclosure that meets and exceeds guests’ expectations of Hilton luxury.

Where will OpenAire go from here after this busy year? Onward and upward, of course! Several new projects are set to begin in 2017, which will see OpenAire collaborating with a range of prominent clients, including a new enclosure for recreation space at Omega Palisades; stacking glass roof designs for River Point Tower restaurant in Chicago and Landings Restaurant in Toronto; bi-parting roof for the Moxy Hotel in Washington DC; and two new telescoping skylights, one for a new restaurant at 150 State Street in Boston and another for a Boston Pizza restaurant in Toronto. Through it all, OpenAire remains committed to servicing each client’s customized needs with the utmost attention. After all, that is what has earned the company so much business in the first place.

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