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Outdoor Oasis & Event Stage at Penn State University

Custom Tensile Shade & Stage Cover engineered within a new Water Tower and part of an overall 61.6 million dollar renovation and improvement project.


In 2018, as part of a larger renovation and improvements of the main water system at Penn States main campus, Signature was contacted to provide unique design elements to the system. One of the improvements included the replacement of a 550 million gallon water tower standing over 140’ tall, that provides water to the dorms and other buildings on campus. They wanted to add something unique to the site.


Located just steps from the Museum of Art and adjacent to both the architecture and landscape architecture departments, the school wanted something more that could draw student engagement and create an outdoor space for both casual relaxation as well as for their performing arts departments. They wanted a canopy that created a lower appearance than the large tower and also wanted to capture any condensing water that may run off from the tower itself. Utilizing a membrane with a self cleaning topcoat, to avoid staining, was critical in such a low sloped design.


Our approach including detailed analysis of the best tensile fabric options, taking into account the application and surroundings. We determined a high quality naturally light transmissive membrane would perform best, with a naturally cleaning topcoat and one of the longest warranties in the in- dustry. The project took several years from design to fruition but the end results was worth the wait. There is LED lighting added to illuminate the structure at night and the area overall is an exciting change of pace for the students looking to enjoy the outdoors. The canopy allows the space under the tower to be used year round, protecting the students from the outside elements.

Check out our Entertainment Structure Projects or contact one of our experts for assistance with your next tensile application project or structure maintenance needs.

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