Panels combine functionality, decoration

by Kacey Larsen

Parasoleil operates on the belief that function and decoration do not have to be mutually exclusive. The patterned paneling system, inspired by Parasoelil President Uriah Bueller’s background in sculpture, creates interactive spaces. Designed to provide shade, lighting and privacy in interior and exterior settings, applications include: overhead shade panels, privacy screens, backlit surfaces, window shutters, cabinet door inserts, metalwork gates and more.

“The concept [for the panels] came from wanting to increase space in an outdoor setting that isn’t overly warm, doesn’t trap the air and still feels like being outside despite cutting a lot of the harsh elements. But it’s more than that; it had to do with framing spaces as much as making outdoor spaces useable,” Bueller says. “The fact Parasoleil is used indoors is not so much to bring the outside in, but has more to do with trying to partition space in a way that doesn’t feel blocked off with a wall or lowering the feeling of a ceiling with a dropped ceiling without actually building something solid. Again, it gives you the sense of a welcoming space without having to really close it in.”

Using powder-coated aluminum – other materials are available through the company’s customization options – means the panels are durable and designed to be maintenance-free for 20 years. The company created powder coats that mimic the natural patina found on copper and a deep bronze that mimics a natural-cast bronze piece to further the decorative and approachable feel of the panels.

Six standard sizes are available, but the company realizes each project may not fit a typical option. “We understand every space is unique, and while that’s something of a cliché to say, we spend a lot of time trying to understand what the intent of the architect is, what the vision of the designer is and trying to make sure the specification is held installation through construction,” Bueller says. “Sometimes it’s the panel that needs to be customized; sometimes it’s the installation system that needs to be customized.” The patterns can also be customized and adjusted to meet building codes or fire regulations.

With all the customization options available, Bueller explains that Parasoleil’s design process is set up to help the architects and designers create spaces that feel artistically empowered. The goal with each project is to think through how a space will be used so as to avoid creating a space that is pretty but not functional, or a highly useable space no one wants to use because of its appearance, he continues. He and his company are able and willing to help, especially because knowing the materials and ideas to create spaces are unique.

“I try to tell our designers, on-staff architects and engineers that we want to guide the architect and designer toward the right tools and right materials to make a space in line with what they see,” he says. “They are the artist, and we’re just helping them through the process."

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