27 May 2016

The World's Most Innovative Window Covering - Bottom Up Shade System

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As a thirty-year veteran in the window covering industry I have seen many exciting products come and go. Nothing has ever compared to the Model Systems Italia’s TF51. TF51 stands for tension force and this is the magic behind the system. Tension force means that the gravity defying hem bar provides the constant tension to the fabric and as you will see below works great as a bottom up shade system. 

bottom up shades

The previous way of achieving tension on the fabric was with two rollers: one roller with the motor and the other roller with a spring to provide the tension. This system falls short of the TF51 because it requires an extra bulky roller, less tension, which means more sagging and functions only on smaller dimensions.

bottom up shades

Manufactured in Treviso, Italy the TF51 is a patented innovative shading system that allows the shade to function at any orientation, such as: top down, bottom up or any skylight configuration. It’s unique tensioning device keeps the fabric taut over wide and long spans of glazing, preventing unsightly sagging.

bottom up shades

When specified with side channels, this system can follow curves on applications such as solariums or greenhouses. This solution can be used as an interior or exterior application. When installed on the exterior it can withstand very strong wind gusts before it is signaled by a wind sensor to retract. 

bottom up shades

We recently installed 16 TF51 units as an interior bottom up solution. This project was completed at The Fellowship Adult Community in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Paul and Ann Scharff founded this unique place in 1966. The Fellowship is part of a larger community which includes a biodynamic farm, educational organizations, natural food coop and a Waldorf School.

bottom up shades

It is this Waldorf School that I graduated from 40 years ago as the first graduating class of Green Meadow Waldorf School. I was able to work with an Architect on this project, Michael Scharff. Michael is the son of the founders of the Fellowship: Dr. Paul and Ann Scharff. Mike’s brother Chris was in my class of 1976 at Green Meadow. With such history, you can understand why this project carries special importance to me.

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The room at Hilltop House is the dining hall for its residents. The tall windows, while providing tremendous daylighting, also annoy the dinners with too much glare. In addition to reducing the glare issue, Michael wanted a bottom up treatment as to still allow light to enter the spacious space.

bottom up shades

I knew that the TF51 from Model Systems Italia would be an excellent solution. As described above this elegant system would be a sleek modern look to the Steiner inspired architecture. I am proud of what we were able to provide to the Fellowship Community, and if I live long enough, to have something that I can admire in my retirement years.

 
 

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