Extruded Aluminum Retractable Glass Enclosure System
When management of The Kimberly Hotel in New York City wanted to transform previously unusable rooftop space into a thriving, profitable dining and entertainment venue, they envisioned a restaurant lounge where patrons could dine and mingle while taking in world-famous Manhattan views. Their dilemma: how to create an idyllic setting that would draw visitors to their new roof-top bar/lounge surrounded by spectacular penthouse-level views of the New York City skyline … without being limited to warm clear
Thanks to an innovative extruded aluminum motorized retractable enclosure, manufactured by Roll-A-Cover International in Bethany, CT, guests can now enjoy the 2,500 square-foot space, known as Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, featuring an al fresco experience year round, regardless of the weather.
Roll-A-Cover International recently was presented with the Grand Prize in the 2018 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition for their distinctive design that is highly customizable in multiple configurations. With aluminum extrusions, the company is able to modify and customize each enclosure system to meet the needs of individual clients.
The Roll-A-Cover team custom designed the moveable enclosure, which opens and closes easily in just moments with the push of a button, as a unique solution that allows the Upstairs rooftop space to be fully functional 365 days a year, generating considerable additional revenue for the Kimberly Hotel as a lounge, eatery, and special events venue. The ambient space is climate-controlled with radiant heat in the floor and a forced air heating and cooling system for year-round comfort.
The project utilizes more than 20 different profile shapes that are comprised of hollow, semi-hollow and solid custom-designed aluminum extrusions that are exclusive to the company. Roll-A-Cover President and CEO Michael Morris notes, “Aluminum extrusions are highly structural and lightweight compared to steel, if the shapes are designed properly. Aluminum extrusions have allowed us to have flexibility with our product designs, colors, and … ease of use during fabrication versus steel.”
Pre-assembled in-house and delivered directly to the job site, the enclosure consists of the extruded panel wall and roof sections. During the installation, crews joined the enclosure sections using 6061 or 7075 aluminum alloy brackets based on engineering requirements. Due to aluminum’s light weight compared to steel, the six-man crew was able to quickly assemble the enclosure’s roof and walls on the job site using standard tools so that minimal time was required; the system took approximately 24 to 35 hours over two to three days to assemble.
Each ‘bay’ of the enclosure is made up of extruded aluminum panels that, with the associated glass, weigh between 800-1000 pounds;however, with its unique design and a 5” high polypropylene sill wheels, the system is extremely easy to slide open and closed.
“Due to the greenhouse effect, a traditional fixed glass room builds up heat without the ability to extract the heat on a pleasant day. Opening the enclosure from a fixed position will exhaust excessive heat and moisture buildup,” noted Micaela Morris, Director of Operations for Roll-A-Cover in the company’s Design Competition entry. “Operating costs with a fixed enclosure are not affordable and more difficult to control, but with a retractable system made with aluminum extrusions, excessive heat and moisture can be reduced by being able to open the system allowing for energy efficiency.”