Chotto Matte is a hip urban Japanese-Peruvian restaurant inside the Herzog and de Meuron designed two-story mixed-use building, located just off Lincoln Road in South Beach. The architects designed this unique restaurant space with a large pivoting metal wall that serves as the main entrance and a large light well in the center of the ceiling that extends up through the second level and is covered by a translucent En-Fold retractable canopy. When fully extended, the canopy overhangs the edges of the 36' by 24' light well and offers complete protection from the elements. When fully retracted, only the slender stack of retracted fabric is visible from below. The fabric canopy is supported by two 38' long aluminum drive beams that are spaced 27' apart and are completely out of view when in the retracted position, thus offering an unobstructed view of the sky.

The client and their architects requested a minimalist and compact retractable canopy system to cover the light well that serves as the centerpiece of the unique restaurant space below. The canopy needed to be retractable to protect the space from the elements, while also allowing enough light and air to enable the extensive vegetation to thrive. The South Beach location meant that the canopy would need to be robust enough to handle the typical pop-up thunderstorms, as well as tropical storms and hurricanes.

Chotto Matte is unique because the architects insisted that the drive beams be completely hidden from view when the canopy is retracted. The typical En-Fold drive beam spacing is 20' on center, so Uni-Systems had to push the limits of the system components to achieve a 28' drive beam spacing. To achieve this, Uni-Systems doubled the typical number of aluminum fabric support beams to handle the high wind loads and rolled a 3/4" pre-camber into each extrusion so that when installed, they would not have any dead load sag.

The result is a translucent, minimalist retractable canopy that has already survived the powerful Category 4 Hurricane Irma and allows the operators to dial up the perfect indoor/outdoor dining experience for their clientele at the push of a button.

*All photos courtesy of Chotto Matte - Miami

Project Information

Client: 
Property Owner
Completion Date: 
07/2017
Project Scope: 
Design, supply, installation, and technical support for the En-Fold retractable fabric canopy system
Architect/Designer: 
Charles H. Benson & Associate Architects/ Herzog and de Meuron
Engineer of Record: 
GLR Engineers
Fabric Fabricator: 
Lightweight Manufacturing Inc.
General Contractor: 
Broadson Construction
Installer: 
Thompson Architectural
Plan Area: 
1,045 sq. ft.
Design Wind Load: 
-30.5/+20 psf (ASCE 7-10)
En‐Fold Retractable Canopy: 

Extension: 38’

Width: 28'-8”

Number of drive beams: 2

Fabric: Tenara® 4T40HF from Sefar