Partnering for Performance

SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric and en-fold: Partnering for Performance

Above and Beyond Miami Beach

In 2012, SEFAR Architecture magazine invited you to Miami Beach, Florida, to meet a breath- taking new aerial performer. Juvia Restaurant. Then, Juvia had a daring new concept:

Create a sensual fusion of Peruvian, Asian, and French cuisine – at a spectacular rooftop location, with an innovative retractable roof.

(Spoiler Alert! Yes, SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric had a part in winning over the dining and design cognoscenti.)

It’s now 2013. Juvia continues to serve very stylish dining, to very stylish diners, very comfortably – even outdoors, some nine floors above Lincoln Road’s fashionable passeggiata. But now, Juvia has been discovered. For their tasteful fusion dining and avant-concept indoor/outdoor design, Juvia continues to be awarded with many of the very best of national accolades.

Today their awards list just got longer


  • Best Restaurant Design or Renovation in North America Since January 1, 2010’ (award winner) 2013, James Beard Foundation

(Darn!) Open tables are now going to be as rare to come by as a date with Karlie Kloss.

High Expectations, Higher Performance

Mantling all this delicious perfection – on a rooftop aerie exposed to South Florida’s notoriously volatile tropical monsoon climate – requires an extraordinary collaboration of talents: A team of creative professionals. An extraordinary design. And materials – with flexibility and tenacity.

Fortunately, Juvia has some adaptable and dependable partners.

Today, we’re revisiting this pinnacle of taste and daring rooftop design. Just above us, spanning

the outdoor dining terrace, are a few lean but strong extruded alloy beams. This is the core of the restaurant’s agile roof. And it’s artfully clothed in a translucent white canopy. This roof’s high-fashion high-function design is so elegant and refined that it might well have come from the mind

of uber-minimalist Jony Ive.

But this isn’t an ‘iCanopy’ from Apple’s Cupertino studios. It is – a new family of innovative operable roofs – designed and built by the kinetic-architects and structural geniuses at Uni-Systems LLC.

It’s an En-Fold operable structural system. And it is perfectly partnered with – (you guessed it) SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric.

With just the touch of a button or sweep of an iPad, En-Fold’s sleek transformer-like frame can extend, retract, and quietly adapt its TENARA Fabric canopy to deflect Nature’s weathery whims.

In just minutes, Juvia’s guests are softly screened from dining discomforts or atmospheric extremes.

SEFAR Architecture TENARA and En-Fold: Real-world Performance

Uni-Systems and its growing distributor network now have similar En-Fold/TENARA Fabric canopies across the US. And, they’re designing, testing, building and monitoring even more-advanced versions. We asked Pete Fervoy, Business Development Manager for En-Fold, to access their secured digital controllers and share some real-world performance data from each TENARA Fabric canopy:

At Juvia, the year-old canopy showed over 560 full cycles (retract and deploy). Fervoy was pleased with the (daily plus) operations as ‘Demonstrating that owners are using their agile canopies exactly as intended – to adapt to the weather, and to respond to people’s needs.’

At Soho Beach Club in Miami Beach, two canopies there (predecessors to current En-Fold products) have each done over 1300 cycles without problems.

Incidental (read: real-world) items, like cigarettes, cigars, beverages, gum, etc. which have fallen from Soho’s terraces and balconies above were washed off the TENARA Fabric; with no holes, no burns, no stains, and no other signs of wear and tear.

Follow-ups with architects, clients and guests, testify that they love the portrait-studio aesthetics of the canopies’ softly filtered light.

And, for an aging and health conscious population, Fervoy added that TENARA Fabric screens out nearly 100% of UV radiation.

SEFAR Architecture TENARA and En-Fold: What’s next?

Pushing further, we asked Fervoy to preview other joint projects. He revealed an expanding progression of projects, capabilities, and geographies. Here’s some of what’s underway, and soon to come in En-Fold/ TENARA Fabric projects:

At prestigious Bal Harbor Shops, Florida’s ultra-luxe retail plaza, production is underway for an 80’ x 55’ (24m x 17m) operable En-Fold canopy. Fervoy notes ‘Architects and clients who have real-world experience with operable canopies, invariably choose TENARA Fabric. Nothing else matches its performance.’

Elsewhere in Florida, and in Tennessee, Massachusetts and California, other unique
En-Fold/TENARA Fabric designs are being built or in the architectural pipeline.

On an oceanfront location in the intemperate Northeast region, a hospitality application also includes full side-enclosures, sliding glass walls, weather seals and HVAC.

En-Fold’s most advanced structural offering so far (using arched drive beams) has achieved over 3000 test cycles, without significant wear.

Two new projects are fixed-canopies, customized by Uni-Systems engineers to withstand the most severe hurricanes, without need for retraction. The canopy fabric?
SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric, of course.

Innovative Design has its Rewards

In (pardon our pun) closing, we are pleased to note that it’s not just En-Fold’s and TENARA Fabric’s restaurants, designers and owners getting the accolades. Recently, IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International) presented En-Fold’s canopy system with two international awards: 'Innovation Award', and ‘International Award of Excellence’.

Sefar extends congratulations to En-Fold. Clearly, IFAI has seen the future.

Design’s Newest Goals: Innovate. Adapt. Perform. Thrive.

Project Partners

More information about the theme:

Juvia Restaurant

Jonas and Alexandra Millan

Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Restaurant Designer

Alejandro Barrios-Carrero

Caracas, Venezuela


Charles H. Benson & Associates

Miami Beach, Florida, USA

En-Fold canopy design, engineering, & manufacturing

Uni-Systems LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

General contractor

Brodson Construction

Bal Harbour, Florida, USA

Canopy Fabric:

SEFAR Architecture TENARA 4T40HF

SEFAR Architecture

Heiden, Switzerland