Acoustical Canopy Reimagines Pool Deck

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copyright Kasia Vetter Photography

When renovating the rooftop terrace at West 77 in Chicago, 4orm Studio envisioned an environment with fluid motion and energy, one that would embody the contemporary urban lifestyle of the residents. Taking inspiration from waves, the pool deck captures this concept with the integration of a flowing overhead canopy.

Using the Hatch offering style developed by the Fabric Images, Inc. design team, the canopy was customized to the 15ft x 30ft size and undulating form. It serves two purposes.

  1. The canopy offers the space a visual contrast of form and color. The grid design plays with the ambient lighting and offers variation from light to dark.
  2. Made with an acoustical felt material, the canopy acts as an acoustical sponge. The soft density of the material, combined with the cellular design reduced noise by 60% and increased speech clarity.

While visually complex, it is simplicity that enabled the design to take form.

Pool Cloud Model_Hatch

Using automated 3D modeling software, the form was generated, figuring in the curvatures, grid and integrated locking mechanisms.


The acoustical slats were then cut on a precision CNC cutter and labeled according to placement. Due to the large over-all size, assembly took place in eight modules.  The packaging of each was coordinated with the order of install.  Between the careful planning and dedicated installation team, set-up was completed within one working day.


Integrating a Hatch canopy within the pool deck afforded dynamics that were needed to dress the space and control the noise that is common with a public pool area. As stated by David Pinson, Innovation Specialist at 4orm Studio, “We explored many options before presenting the final choices to our client. Not only did the Hatch canopy reflect our vision, but more importantly it addressed the sound attenuation that the space so desperately needed.  The entire FI team went above and beyond to help us meet our deadlines and exceed our client’s expectations.”


copyright Kasia Vetter Photography


copyright Kasia Vetter Photography



Fabric Images

Fabric Images, Inc. is a premier manufacturer of printed and non-printed tension fabric architecture and material solutions. Our focus is on integrating structural frame and textiles into environments to enrich brand quality and the expressive identity of a space.