Kick off Your Convention Week at the Shildan Opening Party

May 9, 2016 | Buzz About the Center


Please join us as we kick off the AIA National Convention 2016 at Shildan Group’s Opening Party on Wednesday May 18th from 5-7 pm in the freshly renovated Center for Architecture and Design, 1218 Arch Street.

Newly unveiled in the space is a permanent installation that is the brainchild of multi-award winning DIGSAU, a local architectural collective whose team of creatives—named among The Architecture League of New York’s “Emerging Voices”—are consistently honored for their innovative approach to materiality and design.

Inspired by the shape of Shildan’s rainscreen cladding, they opted to create something utterly new, transforming ancient terracotta into decidedly contemporary language.

Jules Dingle, a Principal at DIGSAU explains the concept. “We explored how the underlying structure and materiality of Shildan extruded terracotta rainscreen panels could be revealed in this functional and ephemeral curtain that exposes the product’s intriguing cross section.” 

TerraCurtain, the resulting installation, consists of 587 white glazed rainscreen sections, sliced from the same panels used on Shildan’s lauded, mixed-use City Point project, to reveal their singularly sculptural cross sections. 

Each slice, ranging in thickness from ½”-5”, was then threaded onto a series of steel cables supported by a lintel, then meticulously “stitched” together.   “We wanted to keep the space feeling simple” Stephanie Lee of DIGSAU explains,  "so we only used white pieces of differing widths, which allowed the color of the other materials in the space (brick, wood) to be featured, but added a very textural element.” 

The result—used to demark the center’s retail space—is a permeable curtain or, per their inspiration, a kind of terracotta tapestry. 

"Terracotta is one of the oldest building materials and people are used to seeing the beauty and richness of its surface. What is captivating about Digsau’s installation is that it captures the unique relationship between the shape, the material and its newfound transparency.   The utilitarian profile becomes art and the terracotta takes on a light, unique form, a new use of the ancient material.” added Moshe Steinmetz, President of Shildan Group.

About Shildan

Shildan Group is the leading U.S. distributor of high performing terracotta rain screen and sunscreen systems.

Recently named Architizer’s 2016 A+ winner in Building Products by both jury and popular vote, Shildan has long been known among architects and lay persons alike for its contemporary reinvention of the world’s oldest building material—underscored by consummate service and best practices in responsible manufacturing.

Launching the category changing Fabrik alongside a host of innovative products, Shildan Group is located in booth # #3739.


DIGSAU is an award-winning firm practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and environmental design.  Based in Philadelphia, the firm is recognized for expertise in providing unique, high-quality design to a diverse client group.  The office operates as on open studio, and consists of a staff of twenty, including seven Registered Architects.


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