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Completed exactly a year after the installation of the Pier 17 Summer Pavilion-South Units in 2019 (see separate Pier 17 Summer Pavilion-South Units profile in Project Gallery), the R17 restaurant on The Rooftop at Pier 17 in NYC’s Seaport District now boasts a complementary pair of En-Fold® retractable canopies called Pier 17 Summer Pavilion-North Units. The result is a total of four independently operable En-Fold® retractable canopies as part of Pier 17 complex’s unparalleled outdoor terrace dining experience.

Gracefully tapering structural pylons already framed Pier 17’s rooftop restaurant open-air dining two-tier terrace on the north side. Working with the owner’s representative at Heini, Uni-Systems developed two independently-operable En-Fold® retractable canopy system units over the conjoined two-tier terrace: one unit closer to the city side with 850 square feet of coverage, and the other unit closer to the river with 695 square feet of coverage. Both En-Fold® units sport Sefar® Tenara® 4T40 ePTFE fabric panels (25+ years of life expectancy) tensioned between fabric beams painted with RAL 9010 Pure White to match the décor.

Due to the building engineers’ concern with the En-Fold® retractable canopy system’s weight and wind loads being properly transferred to the building structure, Uni-Systems increased the distance between the two drive beams on the city side unit from what would be a typical 20-foot spacing to over 28 feet to better spread the load. But by spreading the drive beams farther apart, Uni-Systems grew concerned that the fabric beams would bow under their own weight or wind loads. To counteract this, positive camber was rolled into the aluminum fabric beams.

Now with the redeveloped Pier 17, New Yorkers and visitors alike can boast they have the borough of Manhattan’s only true riverside front porch—certainly the city’s only front porch with four En-Fold® stadium-grade retractable canopies capable of providing sun shade and rain shelter, or pure blue sky at the touch of a button .

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Project Information

The Howard Hughes Corporation
Completion Date: 
Project Scope: 
Design and supply of the En-Fold retractable fabric canopy system
Project Engineer: 
GLR Engineers
Fabric Fabricator: 
Lightweight Mfg
Plan Area: 
1545 sq ft
Design Wind Load: 
34.3 psf (LRFD)
En‐Fold Retractable Canopy: 

Unit 1: En-Fold retractable canopy
Extension: 20’-9”
Width: 41’-6”
Number of Drive Beams: 2
Fabric: Sefar Tenara 4T40

Unit 2: En-Fold retractable canopy
Extension: 23’-3”
Width: 30’-1”
Number of Drive Beams: 2
Fabric: Sefar Tenara 4T40