This very professional looking drawing is the scheme for where the doors on the structures will go. It’s kind of hard to figure out what’s going on in this drawing just by looking at it. It’s basically a concrete pier plan for the piers that will anchor the structures to Mother Earth. Each one of those squares is a 2 foot by 2 foot concrete pier that will be embedded 4 feet into the ground. The layout of the piers is asymmetric. There are 7 piers on the right side (the east side of the structure) and 5 piers on the left side (the west side of the structure). There are more piers on the east side because the east side of the Luna (the crescent-shaped main pergola) has to bear the weight of the Radian (the smaller half crescent-shaped pergola which connects the main building to the Luna).
This wasn’t always the case. Originally there was just going to be one pergola (the Luna) with just an awning connecting the main building to the Luna. Without the Radian, there would be no need for the extra piers on the east side of the Luna. There would’ve been 5 piers on both sides. But after discussing the original design with Jessica, our director of weddings, she pointed out that there would be no place to store the pre-set tables in the event of an on-site wedding ceremony. My first solution was to extend the awning that would connect the building to the Luna so that the awning would run the full length of the Luna. We could then keep the pre-set tables under the awning. But that would mean that there would be a permanent shade-creating awning running the full length of the Luna. The whole point of the Luna is that it’s roof can retract so that it can be totally open-air. The last thing I wanted to do was put a giant 14 foot by 70 foot awning right next to it. And then it came to me. Why not make the giant awning retractable as well? So I emailed the manufacturer of the Luna and told him what I wanted. They redesigned the Luna to accept the Radian on its east side by increasing the number of posts from 5 to 7 and as a result we will now have a main structure with a retractable roof as well as a connecting awning with a retractable roof.
And now to the doors. An important design issue is what to use for walls on the structure. There are several options. We could use stationary glass walls, folding glass walls, vinyl tent walls with windows, motorized vinyl tent walls that go up and down, or motorized mesh walls. As with any design element, there are pros and cons of each. But the one thing that we need for sure are doors to let people out of the structure in case of an emergency. Also, we need doors for people to get from the main building into the pergola and for servers to go from the kitchen to the pergola.
The above drawing is my plan for the doors. The drawing is oriented with north at the top, east at the right, etc. The top of the drawing is the front of the pergola. So the two double doors at the top are for guests to get in and out of the pergola from the sidewalk along Erie St. The single door at the top right is the door that leads from the pergola into the Lucca Room. The double doors just below the two front double doors lead from the Radian to the Luna and allow guests to go back and forth between the Lucca Room and the pergola without ever being exposed to the elements. The double doors at the bottom right of the drawing are the exterior doors of the kitchen. And the double doors directly to their left allow servers to go from the kitchen to the pergola. So that’s the door plan. The cool thing about these doors is that they will all be glass and they will all be incorporated into folding glass walls. So the entire walls can fold open or they can be closed, leaving the double doors for people to go to and fro.
For the rest of the walls, I am opting for motorized vinyl walls which can be raised up or down by a motor. It would be cool to use all glass, but I have to be honest; that would be really expensive. But the cost isn’t the only con about glass. With folding glass walls, even when they’re fully open they take up some portion of the opening. But retractable vinyl walls don’t take up any of the opening when they’re all the way up. There are mesh retractable walls on the market as well. But the drawback with them is water penetration. If there is a hard rain that comes in sideways, it could get through the mesh and cause all sorts of problems.
The only exception to the motorized retractable vinyl walls is the west side of the pergola, where the south- most bay will be taken up by a 30 ton HVAC unit and the two middle bays will be stationary triple pane glass walls to block sound from going to our neighbors directly to the west.