TriPyramid designers and engineers studied vacuum cleaners, garden hose quick-connect fittings, plumbing hardware, and pneumatic tool connections for inspiration and models of successful mechanisms with which to hang the 3,000 lb laminated glass balustrade panels at the Apple Hamburg store. Through close collaboration with the design teams at Seele Sedak and Apple, an optimal solution was created, tested and implemented.

Marrying Strength with Elegance

TriPyramid’s origins are in the design of ultra high-performance yacht rigging, a field in which ounces of excess material can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Today, we rely on the same intense focus in design, material selection and manufacturing ideology for the making of architectural hardware. The goal is not just to shave ounces, but to find the best solution to meet the mechanical, structural and aesthetic requirements of each system.

Finite Element Analysis—FEA—is often the first step in the optimization of components which must be strong and beautiful. Combining FEA results with destructive testing of mockup hardware allows us to further verify innovative connection mechanisms (and we get to break stuff, which is a huge employee perk). We use these exhaustive analyses to advance architectural hardware design and define the TriPyramid version of elegance:

          Gracefully refined in form.

          Excellent and superior in quality of craftsmanship.

To create the custom railing infill system used for the Hudson River Park Pier in Hoboken, NJ, FEA was critical in the optimization of the laser-welded wire tube which housed the LED strips that light the park at night. Additional testing confirmed that the wire diameter and density of wraps was the perfect balance for structural integrity and maximum transparency

Advances in metallurgy have created entirely new alloys of stainless steel, which allow for even more “gracefully refined” part design. Although not originally intended for the architectural field, TriPyramid uses one such series, duplex alloys, on a daily basis.

  • The term “duplex” stems from the approximately equal ratio of austenitic and ferritic microstructures utilized in the material.
  • Duplex alloys were first developed in the 1930s to improve stainless steel castings, but didn’t really emerge on the stainless market until 2205 Duplex was perfected in the 1970s.
  • Continued improvements to metallurgical processes through the 2000s led to the development of other duplex alloys, designed for improved strength at a reasonable cost, improved machinability and weldability, and improved corrosion resistance.

The increased use of specialty metals, like titanium and Inconel, in the making of architectural hardware holds potential for even more delicate systems in the future.