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    Best of both worlds: retractable roofs in restaurant environments

    It is nigh on impossible to guarantee an authentic outdoor dining experience thanks to the unpredictable nature of the British weather, even during the summer; however, one way in which this can be combated is by using a retractable roof. In this way you have the outdoor experience while still offering much-needed shelter in the event of the inevitable summer showers.

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    Introducing tensile fabric

    The top choice for an outdoor retractable roof would be fabric of tensile structure, which is a type of thin-shell construction allowing flexibility of structure while still providing ample shelter of the highest quality. The nature of tensile fabrics means that you can be creative with the shape of the shelter provided, making it far more adaptable than standard fabrics. Along with modern technology, this type of roof can be modified for motion, which is where the retractable roof comes into play.

    The use of this type of structure is probably something you are already familiar with, without even realising it, as there are many examples in modern architecture. Perhaps the most famous on British shores is the Millennium Dome, now called the O2 Centre. The distinctive shape is a well-known part of London’s skyline and its construction has been admired throughout the world. Denver Airport, the third largest airport in the world, also uses this type of structure, proving that tensile fabrics can withstand some pretty hefty conditions and footfall.

    Bespoke solutions

    Perhaps the best thing about using tensile fabric is its flexibility, and working with a specialist such as http://fabricarchitecture.com/ means you can come up with some pretty stunning designs. Representing the best in function along with beautiful engineering, it is the perfect solution for al fresco dining; add in the element of being retractable and it is perfect for the temperamental climate. It does not have to be fussy – modern technology makes retraction a doddle, minimising time spent adapting your outdoor space.

    Next time you are checking the weather forecast and wondering how you are going to attract diners if the rain continues, consider a tensile fabric structure for your restaurant. Whether you have a gastro pub, traditional café, coffee shop or even a fine dining eatery, this type of roof can be as intricate or simple as you want or need it to be.

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