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Warner Building - Washington DC
A Stylish Rooftop Retreat
The luxurious Earle Theater was built in 1924 with the velvet chairs, graceful amphitheater, and gilded proscenium of the old vaudeville houses; in 1947, it was renamed after its owner, movie magnate Harry Warner. In 1993, the building was expanded to become a 13-story mixed-use office building, noted for its soaring glass atrium and views of the city.
In the summer of 2012, renovations were completed on the Warner Building, including a new, sleekly-designed rooftop terrace. From the top of the Warner, it is possible to see famous landmarks like the Lincoln and Washington Memorials, Treasure Building, and White House (which is just down the road). Its breathtaking view demands attention, and part of the architectural vision for the renovations was to create a gathering space on the rooftop that would draw the attention of the city's diverse collection of professionals, government workers, visitors, and vibrant social set.
While the heart of the Warner is its classic theater, the rest of the building is modern, sophisticated, and understated. The new rooftop terrace featured new seating, small gardens and trellises, and a built-in fireplace. The outdoor seating would be used year-round, so the canopy system used would need to be able to withstand and protect in a variety of weather conditions.
The Rimini is a unique patio cover system -- it can be installed wall-to-wall (sturdy beams without posts) or on a patio cover. Although visually simplistic, the fireplace area which required the awning has some architectural complexity. The fireplace is built into a free-standing support wall which is near a maintenance room. A sturdy aluminum pergola was installed with the back posts flanking the fireplace wall. The Rimini retractable awning was then installed with the rear of the beams installed against the wall and the front purlins extending a couple of feet beyond the front beam of the pergola. This extra extension provides maximum shade coverage for the seating area.
The fabric was a critical component as well. The Ferrari PVC mesh was used because it is fire-resistant (important for an awning system built over a fireplace) and its enforced PVC material is durable and effective even in rain. This extends the usability of the terrace throughout the year, except in snow.
The range of color combinations available allows the designers to pick the exact shade to complement their style. The bright white of the fabric adds a feeling of spaciousness and light; the medium gray of the purlins and pergola perfectly match the fireplace wall and exterior of the Warner and the soft pearly grays of the terrace furniture.