OpenAire is sometimes called upon to add retractable roofing systems to historic buildings, thereby blending cutting-edge modern engineering with beautiful, vintage architecture. This is a delicate balancing act that involves the preservation of the existing building while augmenting it both aesthetically and functionally. We are proud to have successfully managed this balance on several occasions. Here are three of our success stories.

1. Restoration Hardware; RH Gallery at Three Arts Club of Chicago

Restoration Hardware Chicago Three Arts Club Skylight

Restoration Hardware Chicago Three Arts Club Skylight

Luxurious, California based home decor furnishing company Restoration Hardware, wanted to develop a new styleof retail which would be an event space, a gallery, a cafe and an interior design studio and lifestyle center. The venue, called RH Gallery, is located inside the historic Three Arts Club, built in 1912, near Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago. OpenAire installed a 2,000-square-foot pyramid-shaped glass skylight on the second floor, in the middle of the four story U-shaped building. The skylight is actually set within the three sided tower, and is surrounded by custom OpenAire grates for water run off. While the skylight is actually all aluminum it is detailed to look like a historic steel structure, yet has the modern technology of being waterproof, UV protected and thermally broken so the temperature of the atrium is perfect year round. The skylight includes motorized operable side windows that again look like antique swing windows. Ensuring every detail aligns with the owner's vision. The final result treated the existing structure with the due reverence it deserved while adding new elements of harmony, luxury, and beauty.

2. Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza Toronto Retractable Roof

Boston Pizza Toronto Retractable Roof Shown Closed

Canada’s largest, west coast based, suburban casual dining restaurant chain chose a historic building in downtown Toronto as the basis for a second prototype for their new Urban Boston Pizza. These new locations are urban, hip sports bars geared to attracting younger city dwellers. As the second of this type of restaurant in Toronto they chose a location near the downton Ryerson University campus. The new restaurant is a second story facility so the renovation included adding an additional top floor with a customized 1,300-square-foot retractable skylight. Without the traditional parking lot patios of their suburban locations the chain wanted an innovative solution for accessing the outdoors when the weather is good. This enclosure creates an open, outdoor-style atmosphere for patrons to enjoy at any time of the year. The spectacular structure helped to bring a fresh, modern feel to the historic neighborhood and, along with Boston Pizza’s premium menu choices, still draws in the crowds.

3. Barcelona Tavern

Barcelona Tavern YYZ Toronto Retractable Roof

Barcelona Tavern YYZ Retractable Roof Shown Open

Another west coast based restaurant, Barcelona Tavern, opened their first Toronto is based in the heart of Liberty Village. It stands right alongside West Elm, which itself is housed in a historic building. The tavern’s retractable transparent enclosure is anchored on one of West Elm’s vintage red brick walls, placing contemporary and historic right next to each other in a pleasing and acclaimed juxtaposition. 



OpenAire specializes in the design and construction of skylights for shopping malls and other retail facilities, as well as retractable roofs for restaurants, sports clubs, and hotels. We have designed and built custom-designed skylights and retractable roofs for several high profile retail projects in North America and abroad. These include Restoration Hardware in Chicago, IL, Old Quebec Street in Guelph, Ontario, and the Sharjah Mall in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. 

Contact us for more information on skylights for retail centers and other applications.

Aquatic centers offer good, healthy fun for people of all ages. Those with retractable roofs are able to do so all year round. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down these facilities for the moment, but once life starts to resume a semblance of normality, aquatic centers will continue to offer great amenities for health and entertainment, no doubt with boosted safety and sanitation measures that will make them all the more appealing. If you’re looking for an entertainment option that will keep the kids occupied for hours while also promoting a healthy, active lifestyle in a safe and secure environment, then an aquatic center is exactly what you need.   

Swimming After School or on Weekends – Throughout the Year

Retractable Roof over Boys And Girls Club in Boston MA

Retractable Roof over Boys And Girls Club in Boston MA

A great example is the Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester, MA. This was an update on the existing Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club and was intended to provide after-school facilities for at-risk youth. OpenAire built a free-standing, thermally-broken aluminum-and-glass enclosure over the pool, complete with sliding doors and a retractable roof, which, depending on the weather conditions, can open or close the pool to the outside air at the touch of a button.

To the south, in northeastern Arkansas, the town of Pocahontas boasts a public aquatic center aimed at promoting health, fitness, recreation, and sports for people of all ages. Housed in an OpenAire double-slope enclosure, the center’s two pools and other facilities have become a popular attraction for the county’s youngsters. Open to the fresh air on sunny days and protected from the elements when the weather turns bad, the Pocahontas Aquatic Center provides entertainment for local children, both after school and on weekends – throughout the year. 

These are just two examples of aquatic centers that are enjoying the benefits of OpenAire enclosures, and also passing these benefits on to their communities. Enclosed pools enable facility managers to exercise greater control over the environment and increase the efficacy of sanitation measures, which, in addition to limiting the number of people who can access the pool at a given time and the adoption of careful social distancing measures, will ensure that these aquatic centers can still be healthy options for your children after the COVID-19 pandemic gets under control. 

OpenAire specializes in the design and construction of enclosures used in aquatic centers and other facilities. Besides the two centers above, others include the Morrisville Aquatics and Fitness Center in Morrisville, NC, the Little Elm Aquatic Center in Little Elm, TX, and The Plunge at FIT, Belmont Park, San Diego, CA. There are many others and your facility could become one of them. Contact us for more information.



Have you ever scrutinized a break-down of your facility’s utility bill? If you have, you might have been shocked to learn what percentage of your energy bill goes to heating, cooling and lighting costs! Luckily, you can reduce these costs with a retractable roof - whether in residential, commercial, or institutional buildings.

For heating and cooling, what if you could build a space where the building itself provides natural ventilation? In warm weather, air conditioning can become obsolete because on the hottest of days, when the roof is wide open, (and with the open doors,) air is pulled in from the sides and pushed up and out through the open roof. The building acts like a natural chimney, eliminating the need for costly air cooling systems, specifically for aquatic spaces. In colder weather, on a sunny day, there are some benefits from solar heat gain which can offset some of the heating requirements.

These combined factors result in substantial energy savings in the long-term, and allows you to leave an environmentally conscientious footprint, and lead a greener way of life. As far as aquatic venues are concerned, it is estimated that an operable/automated roof can deliver up to 27% in annual energy savings when compared to traditional construction structures.

Indoor air pollution is an increasing health concern, especially in enclosed environments. A retractable roof structure permits the circulation of fresh air in any environment.

To learn more about how to reduce lighting and ventilation costs with a retractable roof, contact OpenAire today.

OpenAire added a Slider's Bar and Grill as a restaurant addition to Watiki Indoor Waterpark with retractable roof in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Have you been looking for design options that will dazzle visitors? In search of a “WOW” factor that will make your venue stand out from the crowd? Well, a big sigh of relief is in order - OpenAire has a solution! One that will not only take your breath away with its design, but that also offers numerous benefits, such as energy savings, an enhanced green footprint, all-year-round utilization, increased memberships, and more!

OpenAire’s automated retractable roofs will introduce a spectacular visual factor into your building, whether it is residential, commercial, or institutional. Imagine a space that embraces the best of outdoor-indoor living. No amount of artificial lighting can replace a venue that, regardless of the weather conditions, invites natural daylight. In addition, exposure to daylight in buildings can return huge dividends, such as:

Besides the “WOW” factor, adding a retractable roof to your building will make the property seem larger and will permit year-round usability of the space. That translates to better ROI and higher property values.

OpenAire will customize a solution for your vision of an indoor/outdoor retractable roof space that will not only provide that all-important “WOW” factor, but that will allow your venue to adapt to the changing weather conditions and offer financial benefits. Set up a consultation with OpenAire's team today.

sports clubORC 15

No matter what kind of Health and or Sports club you run, the challenge is to grow your membership. We bet you have a good mix of marketing strategies to retain and grow membership, such as planning fun events, featuring great programs, and even utilizing social media. But, despite all of your concerted efforts, has your growth remained mediocre? Well, OpenAire can offer you an ace up your sleeve, so to speak, which is sure  to activate your membership growth. And, we can back it up with cold hard facts - a case study of how Canada’s private health, wellness, and sports club, the Ontario Racquet Club, increased its membership by 20% with a retractable roof by OpenAire.

Set The Challenge

The Ontario Racquet Club (ORC) has long been renowned for its outstanding indoor and outdoor sports facilities in the Greater Toronto Area. However, they not only wished to expand their facilities to include a new aquatic center, but also wanted to exceed their members greatest expectations.

The Solution

OpenAire created a breathtaking curved motorized retractable roof enclosure over the ORC’s new aquatic center, which boasts a 25-meter-long Junior Olympic pool, a brand-new patio, a small children’s splash pad, a BBQ pit, extensive lounge area, and a beautiful waterfall feature.

The Result

The new center with its retractable roof system allows everyone to enjoy the ORC’s aquatic programs year-around. And, it was an instant sensation with old and new members, resulting in a 20% increase in membership at the club!

Fringe Benefits

OpenAire’s retractable roof enclosures are all designed with energy-efficiency in mind. This means that despite the obvious aesthetic factor, they also offer:

The Proof Is In the Pudding

Watch the video ( to witness the remarkable results achieved by OpenAire. Contact us today to learn more.

OpenAire's retractable roof at Rosemary Beach Club Retirement Center in Panama City Beach, Florida.

A retractable roof enclosure offers many benefits to your health and sports club: it shields the patio and pool against the elements (enabling you to appreciate and utilize the outside all-year-around), it is eye-catching and attractive (making your club stand out from its competitors), and it is durable (its aluminum and won’t corrode). Another one of its exemplary benefits is energy saving, enabling your club to save up to 27% annually on energy bills taking advantage of natural lighting and ventilation when installed over an aquatic facility.

OpenAire’s retractable roof enclosures and skylights, in particular, outperform traditional buildings in some key metrics:

OpenAire achieves significant energy and operational savings by the use of our special extruded thermally broken aluminum profiles, thermal breaks, and vapor barriers. It provides a tremendous reduction in heat loss, increasing thermal performance.

Achieving significant energy savings up to 27% annually (aquatic) and the added bonus of reduced cost of operations, truly make OpenAire the best solution for almost any opening roof system. Contact us today to learn more.

open aire

When hosting an event that revolves around your YMCA’s outdoor swimming pool, there is nothing worse or more frustrating than having to cancel plans due to bad weather. It is frustrating to your guests and results in possible loss of deposit and and associated ancillary spending. Having to shut down all pool activities throughout fall and winter also definitely is not doing your bottom line any favors. If only there was a way to remedy this problem and utilize your YMCA’s pool facilities throughout the year regardless of the weather?

The good news is that there is a solution to this. This solution comes in the form of a retractable roof that can be installed over the pool! Offering your members and indoor and an outdoor pool  will almost certainly help to draw in new members to your YMCA and help to both maintain and increase the facility use of your already-existing members. Below, we take a look at a few reasons why these enclosures are such a worthwhile investment, and why it is time to consider installing them at your YMCA as soon as possible.

Retractable roofs are exactly that – a translucent, aluminum framed roof that can be easily retracted or opened when the weather is good, and closed up again when it is not. Ultimately, this means that your pool can be enjoyed rain or shine, hot or cold, all throughout the year.  Retractable roofs are not only excellent for overcoming the challenges presented by the weather, but they can also help to keep the pools cleaner compared to a traditional outdoor pool, resulting in less of a need for regular maintenance. If closed overnight, even during the warmer months, these enclosures will prevent dust, dirt, and debris from landing in the water – much to the delight of your staff members and your visitors alike!

Here at OpenAire, we are all about going green and doing everything in our power to help our clients do the same. We are pleased to let you know that our retractable roofs are environmentally-friendly in many ways. For starters, all of our roofing structures are thermally broken and because they are operable, allow for natural ventilation. This reduces the need to operate expensive mechanical air handling systems 24 hours a day 365 days a year. When the roof is open, these systems can be turned off. The long-term result is a drastic decrease in energy usage (and dramatic energy cost savings for your YMCA).

Furthermore, the all-glazed nature of the enclosure means that lots of natural light is able to filter through, even when the roof has been closed. The result is that there is no need to switch on standard lights during the day (outside of code required emergency systems), thus reducing your organization’s carbon footprint even more, particularly during the summer months when daylight hours are abundant.

As the temperature starts to drop in the wintertime, the solar gain of the translucent roof and transparent walls can offset some of the internal heating requirements during the daytime, again aiding in cost savings for your facility operations.

Lastly, if you are really “going green”, OpenAire retractable roof enclosures can contribute to LEED certification, for both New Construction and Core and Shell rating systems. All in all, it is great news, not only from an environmental perspective, but also for your pocket.

As already mentioned, by installing a retractable roof over the pool(s) at your YMCA, you will get a lot more use out of them, and be able to keep them open to your members regardless of what the weather outside has in store. This fact alone is sure to draw in greater numbers of members throughout the year. But that is not all! With improved amenities, you can also start to provide increased and more diverse programming to keep both newcomers and long-term members engaged in the club. You could start aquatic aerobics classes, children’s swimming lessons, water polo – anything, really. With an aging population, a focus on programming for seniors could be a large benefit toward increased attendance. All of these new activities are sure to make your facilities remain competitive and give members a reason to want to get fit and attend your facility on a regular basis.

The possibility of utilizing the pool(s) at any time also means that there is a chance to capitalize on building new partnerships, memberships, and increasing admissions. As a result, the YMCA can increase its charitable activities for the local communities - thus meeting the desires of the donors.

An increase in membership undoubtedly means an improved bottom line – that goes without saying. If your YMCA is to continue growing from strength to strength, financial and environmental efficiency are essential in the long-term. Nationwide research shows that in the USA, “local parks and recreation spending decreased by 7.2% from 2003 to 2013.” (according to the NRPA, p. 55). While YMCAs are funded differently than Parks and Recreation facilities, with this statistic in mind, it becomes obvious that now is the time for YMCAs to do everything possible to reduce costs, increase revenue, and also ensure that local residents can access the facilities.

The more varied the amenities an aquatic center or YMCA offers, the more members it attracts, the longer they stay and the more ancillary services and products can be offered. Length of stay, programming, accessibility, sustainability, increased memberships, and improved partnerships are also critical to driving growth and ensuring the longevity and long-term success of the organization. The addition of a retractable roof over the pool means that there is nothing holding you back from diversifying your program offering, ultimately boosting the income and sustainability of the organization as a whole.

As you already know, the reality of the situation is that indoor pools cost a lot of money to operate. Luckily, by installing a retractable roof, you will see a decrease in operation and maintenance costs (compared to a traditionally constructed indoor pool) almost immediately. This is because the structures are constructed of naturally corrosion-proof painted aluminum. And, the systems OpenAire builds are virtually maintenance-free, no yearly painting or refinishing. This means that you will eliminate extensive facility closures which impacts your bottom line and programming schedule. While you will still need to spend time and money on keeping your pools clean and healthy, at least you will not have to worry about maintaining the enclosures around them.

But what happens when increased interest and attendance inevitably leads to a volume related increase in facility operating costs? The secret in terms of overcoming this new challenge lies in how energy-efficient the retractable roof enclosures are. An operable roof can deliver annual energy cost savings of up to 27% over traditional construction for an aquatic venue.

As mentioned above, these energy savings are achieved by reducing/eliminating the need for artificial lighting and air handling when the roof and walls are open. When you open the roof and walls of a retractable enclosure, your pool building becomes a natural “chimney”, whereby the hot chemical laden air is pushed up and out of the roof as air flows in from the side walls. The retractable roof is not a “totally open or closed” system, it can be opened as much as needed, so in colder seasons it’s not uncommon for an OpenAire retractable roof to be open just a few inches for a few minutes a day to simply refresh the space.

In the winter or when it is chilly outside, when the roof is closed you also benefit from some solar heat gain on sunny days, meaning you may need less heat than a traditional building. In short, regardless of the weather, you will win when it comes to cost-savings, all year-round.

One of the reasons why retractable roofs are so popular with YMCA directors is the fact that they allow the pool area to boast the best of both worlds when it comes to enjoying the benefits of an indoor and an outdoor facility – staying open year-round while providing natural light and fresh air. Ultimately, this means that the air quality of the area is also greatly improved. This is something that members will notice and appreciate greatly. A happy member is a member that will not only keep utilizing the facilities, but will also be keen to tell others all about it too.

Most people who take part in swimming activities in indoor pools will complain about the air quality – and it can be one of the leading causes of a lack of attendance. Many existing facilities will attempt to mitigate these issues by opening doors year round, but this is rarely is enough to move chloramines away from the water surface where they most affect swimmers. With a retractable roof, on the other hand, the roof and the doors can be opened when needed, this creates a natural updraft, which aids in moving the chemical-laden air away from swimmers and staff members who spend extended time in these spaces.

Not only is this good news for members’ health and wellbeing in general, but it is also sure to make their visit a lot more pleasant and memorable, keeping them coming back again and again.

Aluminum retractable roofs are also known to be more lightweight and flexible for renovations and new builds. OpenAire can custom design the solution to meet the needs of a new structure or as an addition to your existing facility.

Why Choose OpenAire? 

There are many options for your YMCA’s pool enclosure from steel structures, to concrete boxes to fabric tents that go up and down every year, to traditional wood structures and more. The supplier list is endless… But how many of those companies can say that they have completed almost 1,000 projects around the globe in all climates and geographies and for communities of all different sizes? How many of them can say that they have the equipment and know-how necessary to be able to participate in your project from design to manufacturing, to construction and/or installation and handover, including architectural and engineering services, operations support, financial/investment planning and business planning? OpenAire can also offer you the best warranty in the industry: a 5-year warranty on parts and labor.

Here at OpenAire, we are dedicated to collaborative design, providing our clients with a tailor-made final product that they can be proud of. We boast an in-house design and engineering team, as well as a certified fabrication and welding facility. We also pride ourselves on unparalleled customer support and project management, and we specialize in Revit, Solid Edge, and CAD.

Our engineer standards are as follows:

At the end of the day, you do not want to have any regrets when it comes to your YMCA pool(s) retractable roof. So call on the experts that you know you can count on to get the job done right. Call on the OpenAire team today!

Gusto101 web

OpenAire is thrilled that our client, Janet Zuccarini, of Gusto 101 and Trattoria Nervosa fame, is being recognized as a driving force in the Canadian food and beverage industry. Janet is expanding her restaurant empire into the USA, via a new couple of properties in Los Angeles, California. OpenAire is a huge supporter of Janet, her vision and her impact on the local Toronto restaurant scene. Its truly a great honour to be part of what will be become the future legacy of our great city. OpenAire is excited to be working with her on the newest Gusto 501, currently under construction in the east end of Toronto.

Check out her latest article here:


We sure think it might be, and apparently so do readers of USA Today! What is your favourite hotel rooftop patio? The vote is on, check out the 10best awards pole here:


Well its a pretty busy time at OpenAire these days, we have several new residential projects underway throughout Canada and the USA. We have a number of new aquatic and waterpark facilities across the US that we are thrilled to be working on and our newest cruise ship, the Anthem of the Seas has just landed in the UK to start its European touring! Above are a few photos of some of our projects in various states of completion.

We couldn't be happier with our sales & admin teams, designers, project managers and our internal and external builders & installers who bring these buildings to life.

Its a great time to bring in the fresh air to restaurants, cruise ships, aquatic facilities, homes and waterparks around the globe! Follow us on Instagram to see where we are today! @openaire