Aalta’s Tracked Sun Sail was the perfect solution to or client’s north facing yard. The timber pergola custom built by Aalta defined their outdoor living area, with the shade structure protecting them from the sun. This is how the story goes…

Tracked Sun Sail on custom timber frame

Our client was undertaking some landscaping and renovations to her lovely home in Sydney’s lower North Shore.

The north facing backyard, with its beautiful large trees on the boundary fence form a lush green canopy and give our clients privacy from the neighbours. The landscapers did a wonderful job taking advantage of the aspect and established trees to create a beautiful, classic and functional yard, which included a paved area from the house.

However, as with most north facing yards, the area was hot in summer and Aalta was contacted to address this issue before the landscapers had begun construction.

The brief was to build a shade structure that would suit the style of the house and that was retractable, so that the clients could enjoy the northern sun in winter or a cooler summer’s evening.

With a budget in mind, our clients opted for a manual retractable shade system, that was not necessary in rain or windy conditions.

After several design ideas, the final proposal was for two Tracked Sun Sails mounted on a custom timber frame with four rafters and posts. The manually operated sail structures run along tracks which are concealed in the timber rafters. The rope and pulley system ensure an easy operation.

Conceptual drawing of Tracked Sun Sail

Before the renovations and landscaping.

Aalta supplied:

  • Two Tracked Sun Sails – 1 @ 5820mm wide x 3635mm projection, and 1 @ 5710mm wide x 3740mm projection
  • Manual dual cord operation
  • Outlook Mesh Fabric – colour Ash#551
  • 320mm fabric drop when stacked
  • 4 @ 115mm x 115mm timber posts and rafters mounted on concrete pads (painted by client)

Our client loves her new outdoor area. Furnished with outdoor table, chairs and lounge, her family can now enjoy their garden, whilst relaxing in the shade. When it’s no longer required, the shade system is retracted, folding neatly back against the house.

Finished product – Tracked Sun Sail (retracted) on timber pergola frame

If your outdoor area needs a makeover and you’re looking to create a space that can be enjoyed throughout the year, give Aalta a call on 02 8065 4911 or email us .


Privacy | Functionality | Lifestyle

Privacy | Functionality | Lifestyle

What is the point of having a space that you cannot utilise under certain conditions? Its like having shoes that are slightly too small, or a car that only starts half the time. Situations or things like these inhibit your lifestyle, yet once rectified or replaced, will enhance your sense of well-being. A retractable roof will allow you to use your outdoor space no matter what the weather conditions are.

With Aalta being based in Manly, Sydney, we were rather thrilled to receive an enquiry from a friendly client in our neighbouring suburb, Balgowlah. After arranging a site visit we called around on a fine summers day to find a beautiful deck area. As Richard, our head designer talked with our client it became quickly obvious as to how our product would be useful for this space. Here are some photos of the space before the pergola and retractable roof was installed.

Richard proposed a custom designed retractable roof that would continue the aesthetic created by the stained timber decking and handrail. The retractable roof would provide temperature control and shelter from the summer sun, as well as a privacy screen giving privacy from the neighbours. Ultimately the retractable roof would open the space as an area that could be utilised no matter what the weather was doing. After some sketches and design proposals, our client became excited about the project and we got to work installing.

4 images of tables on back decks

Richard proposed a custom designed retractable roof that would continue the aesthetic created by the stained timber decking and handrail. The retractable roof would provide temperature control and shelter from the summer sun, as well as a privacy screen giving privacy from the neighbours. Ultimately the retractable roof would open the space as an area that could be utilised no matter what the weather was doing. After some sketches and design proposals, our client became excited about the project and we got to work installing.


We recently returned to the site to check in with the client and to take some photos of the job. The Syzygium that were planted around the pergola/deck area had growth a good deal and brought a vibrancy and a sense of life to the space. There was a light hiss as the cool winters breeze passed between the leaves of the trees, ventilating the alfresco space. The opaque fabric chosen by our clients let enough light in to retain sense of weightlessness within the space whilst the neutral tones of the wood stain, white post paint and the light fabric colour harmoniously accentuated the greens of the Lilly Pillys. What was quite notable too, was just how private the space became with the roof extended out. All in all, we were happy with the end result of the space we helped create and we know our clients were too. Another alfresco space created, and another job well done.



Defining Outdoor Living

Just last week our Aalta team signed off on yet another beautifully designed and executed bespoke piece of work. For the first time ever, our design team used the structure of the Duet frame work combine with the light weight shade system, the Shaderunner. The result was a unique, elegant and functional shade system that helps define an aesthetic outdoor living space. The client also contracted some great landscapers to give the backyard a much needed lift and new sense of identity. I think you will enjoy the results.

Video ?


Painted pergola | Patio Awnings



Another week passes and another job is completed. Again, the Aalta design and installation team successfully executed an aesthetic custom design for our happy clients, this time not too far away in Balgowlah. The clients had a western facing deck that they wanted to make more functional during the summer months, as they enjoy dining outdoors and just generally  being outside. The Balgowlah residence entails large bi-fold doors separating the indoor living areas from the deck area, which backs onto a lovely garden design with a small lawn and some raised garden beds.

After a consultation, our Aalta design team suggested a timber pergola frame, that spanned upwards from the western side of the deck, back to the house. We then incorporated our Patio Awnings on top of the pergola frame creating a slick modern design and great functionality for our client – that all-important shade from the harsh Australian sun. After being approved by our clients, our team got to work, first by installing the timber pergola frame, painting it up to our client’s desired colour, and then finally installing two Patio Awnings that span roughly 9.5m wide. The projection of the two awnings varies – one spanning 2.4m and the larger spanning 3.6m.

This is what we achieved after the tools were put away and our final goodbyes were said to the clients.

Complementing Lifestyles

The residence of this home in Manly love to relax and enjoy the outdoors so it was important for their backyard reflected their lifestyle. The Aalta team worked closely with this Manly family to help them achieve their ideal outdoor living space.

The family recently renovated the home to open up the living area, upgrade the bedroom and bathroom for their grandmother and build a modern kitchen. Being passionate about her natural environments, Kathryn wanted her indoors to flow directly out, so that she could always feel a part of her garden. She was thrilled to be able to design a kitchen that felt like she was cooking outside!

Their previous outdoor area had a low polycarbonate permanent ceiling with two very small sliding doors that led into the house. Whilst they were able to furnish the courtyard with a dining table and lounge, the area was always dark and small.

Outdoor living area Sydney | before and after1

The backyard faces south, which means there is little direct sunlight. So it was important to them to be able to maximise the amount of light that comes into the backyard.

During the renovations, the existing polycarbonate roof was disassembled making way for a new retractable roof. With the new sliding doors expanding the width of the building, a 5m wide x 4m projection Aalta Papilio roof was installed above the doors opening up the vertical space. The retractable roof slopes upwards, allowing more light in and creating a larger expanse.

In winter, when the sun is low, they retract the roof during the day to make the most of the warmth of the sun. In the evenings, the roof is closed and a gas heater provides warmth and ambience to the courtyard area – making it a great place for an outdoor party, even in the depths of winter!

Of course, the retractable roof in summer time allows for shade all day long and can then be retracted in the evening to provide airflow and to capture the easterly breezes prevalent on the beaches.

What the customer said about the project…

“The old roof was really low, and really hot in summer – there was nowhere for the hot air to escape. It was also was dark and we felt closed in. Now it’s totally different – it’s light, bright and breezy, and when it rains we can still use the area as we’re protected! We can have the roof or not have the roof – we love that it opens!”

We popped by Kathryn’s home recently and snapped some photos of what has become a beautiful rustic outdoor living area. View gallery below!




Rain Hail Shine

Creating functional outdoor living areas is what makes us most happy at Aalta Australia. So when we finished up the job featured below, packed our tools up, said good bye to the client, and finally walked away from the site, we had some very broad smiles on our faces. The area we helped create is modern, clean, aesthetic and highly functional. The painted timber frame of the retractable roof projects proudly over the sand stone courtyard, creating an array of vectors and textures that were made to be together. The lines of the roof are continued by the clean vectors of the landscape architecture. Our photographer highlights through the images just how much greenery can add to these out outdoor living spaces.

The retractable roof spans a generous 6.5 m by 3.5 m (roughly) held up by three 135 mm square posts. The retractable roof is equipped with a retractable gutter, down-piping, flashings and a storm water connection. Aesthetically the roof finished up beautifully with the grey painted finish sitting nicely against the opaque white fabric and the natural sandstone tiles. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Aalta’s retractable roofs is that they provide total weather protection, standing winds up to and over 100 kilometres per hour.

The motorised straight drop blind is 3355 mm wide with a drop of 2860 mm, and was powder coated to match the Papilio frame. It was installed to give our client as much relief from the sun as possible, especially in the later hours of the day.

The space went from being a magnet for harsh summer heat to an aesthetic and functional living area that will enable the family to enjoy, no-matter what the weather is doing, and that makes us happy.


Two Roofs, One Great space

Our greatest joy at Aalta is walking away from a client’s site knowing that our product will bring them joy, good use and an enhanced sense of living. This particular job at North Balgowlah definitely delivered and both our team and our friendly clients were extremely satisfied with the result. After finding Aalta through a simple Google search, Aalta met with the North Balgowlah resident to discuss the prospect of integrating some sort of weather and shade protection into their outdoor space. The residency was to be renovated, so our team had a flexible framework to implicate bespoke design and that candid Aalta flair.


Working with the clients, the architect and the builder, the Aalta team proposed an alteration to the original design, which entailed a skillion roof meeting the retractable roof at the apex of a traditional triangular roof shape. Our proposed alteration was to offset the two roofs so they appeared to be two separate structures that would in turn shed water and provide an equal amount of protection as a traditional shaped roof.

The design was well accepted by all parties and it was to be rolled out over the following few weeks. Working closely with the builder, the Aalta installation team successfully erected the planned design which spanned 4.m by 4.3m projection, and the results were great.

The outcome is that the job has an interesting aesthetic, as it challenges the conventions of standard architecture that you find in many homes. The area became one to marvel at, one to enjoy, one to utilise and one to love. Our clients were very pleased and we walked away happy knowing that our designs and product will  bring an enriched quality of life for years to come.

If creating a functional outdoor living space is something that interests you, or if you have any question regarding our products or services, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team.


Patio Awning Middle Cove

In early September of 2017 our Aalta installation team went out to Middle Cove to install a Patio awning over a section of an existing patio structure. The client wanted a durable and retractable shade structure, as her deck area was of a northern aspect. Aalta’s design team used the existing patio structure as a anchor point for the runners, whilst the hood was fixed into timber which was anchored into a concrete wall using strong threaded rods.

Given the aspect of the deck area, the design incorporated sun and wind sensors to ensure the correct functionality and longevity of the quality shade product. Other features include:

  • The electrical operation via a remote controller
  • Monument powder coated framework to match existing pergola frame
  • 5 year warranty
  • UV resistant fabric
  • Corrosion resistant aluminium headbox

The Patio awning is a perfect product for anyone who has an existing patio structure that wishes to create more shade in their outdoor area. With its slick design and its smooth functionality, Aalta’s Patio awnings defines outdoor environments without being intrusive.

 environments without being intrusive.



Contact us

Patio awnings | Retractable awnings Sydney | Aalta

Patio awnings Sydney | Awnings Sydney


Shade for northern facing decks and so much more

Anyone who has an exposed north facing deck will understand just how hot it becomes in summer. The savage Australian sun not only heats up the northern facings decks and everything on them, but it heats up the windows and the immediate flooring of the house too; causing an increase in temperature and a noticeable decrease in comfort for the home owner. Often people look to air conditioning to mitigate the hot and stuffy air. Alternatively home owners can consider shade products to drastically reduce the amount of heat the windows and deck is exposed to which therefor reduces the temperature. Aalta’s range of retractable roofs are the perfect product to provide shade for northern facing decks.

The Aalta installation team travelled down to Thirroul last week to install a retractable roof over a northern facing deck. The roof system  used was a Liberty from Aalta’s range of roof systems. The Liberty is the retractable roof component only. Our clients chose the Liberty roof system as they already had an existing pergola frame over their northern facing deck area.

The motorised roof system is 4.7m wide and has a projection of 3.4m. A retractable gutter was fixed to the front rail to direct water into a down pipe that connects to storm water drainage. When under tension the roofs canopy is fully waterproof. Essentially the generous area under the canopy turns into an extension of the house itself; as no matter the weather the space can be utilised to relax, dine, entertain and enjoy.

And the best part of the retractable roof is that when our clients no longer need shelter from the northern  sun, with the push of a button, they can retract the roof and enjoy the open skies…starry nights, wispy clouds, sunny winter days…the sky’s the limit!

Video, roof assembly

If you’re looking for a product to provide shade for northern facing decks in your home, Aalta’s range of retractable roofs are a the answer. Not only do they provide optional shade but evolve outdoor areas into liveable spaces that can be enjoyed no matter the weather.

If you have any questions about any of our products or services please do not hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team.

Quintessential outdoor living

Aalta Australia strives to help our customers achieve their ideal outdoor living space. That is why we were extremely happy after completing this retractable roof in Manly, Sydney. The owners of the Manly home completely utilised the space that the retractable roof created by carefully designing all aspects of the outdoor living area. The carefully arranged pots, plants and succulents bring a sense of life and ease to the area whilst the eclectic use of furniture and texture give the space character and flair. The frame for the Duet retractable roof is made of an H3 treated pine timber that complements its predominantly natural surroundings, giving the balcony a tree house feel.

The video above displays the functionality of our range of retractable roofs. With a click of a button our retractable roofs can neatly retract back to let the plants and the inhabitants of the household get the sun they need! What the video does not display is how effective the retractable roof is at providing wet weather protection. When the roof its completely out at full tension the membrane acts as a roof, shedding water into its front gutter and then into the down pipe. Having this control over the conditions of your outdoor living space is really what differentiates this product from other shade alternatives. The space under our retractable roofs is a space for entertaining, relaxing and enjoying no matter what the weather is doing.

Retractable roof Manly

With the click of a button your retractable roof can neatly fold away.

Retractable roof timber frame

The H3 treated pine timber frame provides an organic aesthetic to the retractable roof structure. Blending it harmoniously into its natural environment.

Retractable roof sail

The translucent PVC membrane provides weather protection when it is out or can be retracted to take full advantage of the sunshine or a starry night’s sky.

Retractable roof providing an extension to the houses living space

Here we see the retractable roof acting as an extension to the Manly family home’s living space. The outdoor space can now be utilised as an area to entertain, lounge, dine and relax no matter the weather.

Duet retractable roof | Far more than just an awning

At Aalta we strive to help you realise and acquire your ideal outdoor and indoor living spaces. Indeed sometimes a simple retractable shade sail or folding arm awning will be enough to satisfy the needs of our customers in providing them with shade and/or privacy. However we really get excited when our product facilitates a shift in how one views and uses their outdoor space. This is why we get a great sense of joy and excitement when we install a Duet or a Papilio retractable roof. These products truly enhance ones ability to utilise their outdoor space as the retractable roofs provide a dynamic space that is modifiable and functional.

As opposed to folding arm awnings, Aalta’s retractable roofs provide complete protection against most weather conditions. The vinyl fabric that spans the projection and width of the roof structure remains under significant tension when the roof is out allowing it to shed water to the front gutter, directing the water into a down pipe which then leads to either storm water drainage or a water tank. Its capability to effectively withstand wet weather makes it extremely useful on those wetter days where you feel like getting some fresh air outdoors as the space under the canopy of the retractable roof will stay dry as a bone (unless the rain is extreme and coming in on a sharp direction through the side).

When the sun is out and shining you have the control to retract the roof with a click of a button to fully take advantage of the beautiful sunshine. When the sun turns blood orange and sets in the distant horizon and the stars and the moon are shining bright you can keep your roof open to take some time to snuggle into your sofa and gaze up at a beautiful night sky.

Aalta’s retractable roofs really bring outdoor spaces alive. Their contemporary aesthetic and effective functionality render the roofs as a valuable asset to any outdoor area.

Below are some images of a Duet retractable roof Aalta completed in Roseville, Sydney earlier this year.


Retractable roof, Roseville Sydney

Retractable roof against the warm colours of Sydney’s AutumnRetractable roof - 4 - Roseville Sydney  Retractable roof acting as a cost effective extension of the Sydney home


Retractable roof, Roseville Sydney

The retractable roofs front gutter to effectively shed water into a down pipe, keeping the space underneath the canopy nice and dry.


Retractable roof, Roseville Sydney

Painted timber finish and embedded lighting – A delightful aesthetic

Add a little romance to your outdoor area

Outdoor Curtains

We love our outdoor area in our Manly home. It certainly is our 3rd space!

The retractable roof was the starting point to create an outdoor area that doubled up as another living room. The retractable roof gives us protection from the sun and rain and over the years, we have made ourselves very comfortable there with furniture, pot plants, lighting, cushions and heating. The outcome is that it is our go-to place to relax, share meals, enjoy too many drinks and exchange stories and laughs with friends and family.

It’s beautiful there overlooking the trees and hearing the birds sing all day. But, like all projects around the home and garden, it is by no means perfect (I’d love some new outdoor chairs!).

One drawback of the area was the sun beaming through in the afternoon as the sun sets lower in the west…we needed shade! It made the area quite hot and glary, even on some winter afternoons. We decided we needed shade and began exploring our options.

Straight drop awnings were an obvious choice as they are made for just this purpose. But we felt they would look too hard-lined. We were after a softer look.

During our trip to Spain and Greece in 2016 we noticed many cafes and bars not only had overhead awnings or retractable roofs for the alfresco dining areas, but included softly draped curtains that not only shaded us from the sun, but created a beautiful ambience as they billowed in the breeze (albeit hot breeze!).

It was then that we decided what to do – have some outdoor curtains made!

Not an easy thing to do given that they are not very popular or often seen here in Australia. We were on a mission.

Retractable RoofsRetractable roof, comfy furniture, potted plants and BBQ all make the deck our 3rd space!

With the help from Alison of Piega, we sourced a suitable outdoor fabric – a lovely sheer polyester that tied in with the rest of the décor. The tracks were discreetly mounted between our Duet Retractable Roof rafters on the western side. The curtains were custom-made to follow the angle of the rafter and drop to about 10mm off the floor.

Outdoor Curtains

‘S’- Folds give a soft yet modern feel

The ‘S fold’ heading gives the curtain a modern, yet relaxed feel and when not drawn, they stack back neatly and tie up against the south-western posts. Unfortunately, we only have a ribbon to do this job right now. Our next mission is to source a rope curtain tie back.

Setting us back about $2500 it was all worth it. We love the look and they work beautifully to reduce the direct sun onto the deck. When the breeze is up they billow beautifully adding a romantic and stylish element to our outdoor area.

A couple of extra bonus points are that in winter, when we use the heater it will also help in keeping the heat in a little, and in light rain, the curtains keep the rain off the deck.

Outdoor CurtainsEven tied back, the curtains look great on the deck


When all you need is shade

Retractable Shades

A lovely couple just on the outskirts of Sydney contacted Aalta Australia towards the end of 2016 – they were in need of some shade!

Living in rural surrounds, they had undertaken renovations to their property and had been working on the outdoor area. Both have very busy schedules, and their aim was to create an area where after a busy day at work, they could relax in the shade on their extensive porch. Having laid some gorgeous sandstone pavers sourced locally, the area was not only generous in its proportions, but ideal to take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape and open skies.

The problem was that although the porch was covered with a sizeable roof, the sandstone area reflected a lot of heat, which then caused significant discomfort when outside during the day.

After a little bit of online research, our clients contacted Aalta for a quotation for a retractable roof. They had already visited some showrooms of other suppliers and had even received a few quotations to cover the sandstone area with a retractable roof system.

Although we love the retractable roof systems and find that they are often the best solution, after a lengthy discussion on the phone, it did not seem like a retractable roof was necessarily the best option.

There was ample room under the eave over the porch to furnish the area with outdoor furniture and to entertain. They didn’t need another area that was weather proof, which is what a retractable roof would have provided.  Hence, the cost of a roof system did not justify the use they would have had from it.

The result is a gorgeous paved area with the Shaderunner unobtrusively providing shade when needed. It’s easy to operate and looks amazing when it’s extended. Our clients can relax and enjoy being out on their porch without the intensity of the heat previously experienced.

What they needed was to shade the paved area so as to keep the rest of the porch and the house cool. But of course, it needed to be retractable so that they could have the option to allow the winter sun to warm the house

Aalta felt that a better option for this area would be a Shaderunner. The Shaderunner is a great product for providing shade! And this is what they needed. It is a light weight system that can be installed without the need of a heavy frame, which suited their outdoor area. Being manually operated, it was also a cost effective alternative.

We visited them at their home on a Saturday. Aside from the delicious home-made brownies they offered us, it was great to see the area and for Richard to work out how the shaderunner would be installed, given that the structure needed to be mounted above the roof and out to the fence.

Aalta proposed a 6090mm wide x 5000mm projection, manually operated Shaderunner. It was to be fixed to two steel posts down one end and to the roof with three roof extenda brackets on the stacking end. The fabric chosen was a 95% Outlook mesh in Bronze. At less than half the price of a retractable roof, this seemed like the best solution.

The result is a gorgeous paved area with the Shaderunner unobtrusively providing shade when needed. It’s easy to operate and looks amazing when it’s extended. Our clients can relax and enjoy being out on their porch without the intensity of the heat previously experienced.

Retractable Shades Sydney

View of the porch with sandstone pavers before the shaderunner was installed and the fence was painted

Retractable Shades Systems Sydney

Finished outdoor area looks great with the retractable shade system, the “Shaderunner”

Boldly going where no hotel has gone before

IMG_1229 small

The Rose of Australia Hotel is in the heart of Sydney’s inner city suburb of Erskineville was established in the 1874. The site provided a perfect challenge to push the adaptable and customising capabilities of our Aalta team. Who would have thought almost 150 years ago that the roof covering this structure would be a retractable roof!

The designers stripped back the walls and fittings to expose the original brickwork, timbers and pipes to give it a rustic, urban feel. The internal garden walls and outdoor furnishings, with the bold striped cushions and colourful fabrics have created a playful and fun atmosphere. The result is a funky space that invites its eclectic mix of locals and guests not to take city life too seriously but to enjoy the good food and cocktails that it is renowned for.

In its final stages of refurbishment, the proprietors needed to address the issue of providing protection from the weather in the outdoor area.

The Brief:

  1. To remove the existing curved metal roof and replace it with a retractable curved awning
  2. To create an open courtyard for fine weather but to have the option to close it off in bad weather
  3. The system was to be manually operated to avoid any complications associated with motorisation
  4. The system had to be easily operated by one person only
  5. The system had to complement the existing fit-out

How Aalta addressed the brief:

  1. Based on the Patio awning, a custom-designed curved retractable roofwas manufactured to follow the existing roof line of the curved metal roof, which was to be removed. This was achieved by using intermediate rollers to curve the fabric, which is kept under spring tension, giving the fabric rigidity to shed water.
  2. The courtyard was covered with a Liberty retractable roof following the steep incline of the building. The fabric stacks at the bottom of the incline, rather than up the top so that it does not interrupt the continuity of the two awnings.
  3. Both retractable roof systems are traditionally manufactured as motorised awnings. Aalta redesigned them to be crank operated.
  4. Removing the motors and installing worm drive gear boxes with a ratio of eight to one, enabled the roofs to be easily operated by one person.
  5. Bold yellow and white striped PVC coated polyester fabric was chosen to complement the existing fit-out and to create a water proof structure so that the hotel’s guests could use the space even on a rainy day!

The result:

Two bespoke, custom-designed and made awnings were coupled together, enhancing the hotel’s use of the outdoor area, without closing it in.

Click here to download a pdf version of this project.

A Place To Play

Hero shot small

When we talk about creating a “third space”, we usually think of designing a place where we can go to relax and unwind. Since the addition of two retractable roofs, this Northern Beaches family has created a different kind of “third space” – one where the children just love to play!

This family home has much to offer a growing family – great location, plenty of space, a wonderful backyard and even a swimming pool. The problem they had, however, was with a northwest facing backyard, it became too hot in the summer for them to be outside. The two umbrellas provided some relief but were not sufficient. Also when it rained, the three boys were confined inside the house to play.



Initially, three Papilio roofs were proposed as per the illustration. After consideration, an alternative design was agreed upon with two, three-runner Papilio roofs. One at 6.5m wide x 4m projection and the other, 5.7m wide x 2.60m projection.

Top view extened

Initial Design

The roofs were installed above the existing tiled roof so that when the fabric is retracted, the warmth of the winter sun is maximised. It also provides a greater sense of space underneath the roofs and allows sufficient slope for drainage. The supporting structure was powder coated white to match the house. After much deliberation, the clients opted for a white translucent fabric to ensure maximum light, rather than opaque fabric, which is great for hiding leaves and debris but blocks out all light.

after small

After with two Papilio Retractable Roofs

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The result is a wonderful area that is extensively used by the children to play in all weather conditions. The outdoor table has become their favourite playroom and is often covered in dinosaurs, Lego, tractors and all manner of exciting games and toys!

Of course, mum and dad also get to enjoy the outdoor living space whilst the children play in the yard or when they are happily tucked up in bed after a busy day.

It delighted the Aalta team immensely to hear our happy customer say (and I quote),

“Three things changed my life over the years as a mum – my Thermomix, my Dyson Hand Held Vacuum Cleaner and our new Aalta Retractable Roof!” (Mother of three).

It’s music to our ears!

Keeping Cool with Class

Slimline design complements this contemporary home

Slimline design complements this contemporary home

Timber privacy screen and floral cushion add warmth to this modern deck.

Timber privacy screen and floral cushion add warmth to this modern deck.

Keeping Cool with Class

This lovely home has recently undergone some renovations. The style is classy and contemporary, yet the owners have managed to keep the home warm and welcoming.

With the front of the house facing north, it is no surprise that the deck is in full sun; making the house quite hot during the day. What the client needed was to block out the heat of the direct sun whilst keeping the aesthetic appeal of the construction. It was also important to maintain as much natural light in the afternoon.

The Aalta Patio awning was the perfect choice. It has a sleek, contemporary design with a compact frame. This motorised awning is held under tension by means of a spring system and is operated via a remote control. The fabric travels smoothly along a wheeled runner system and when the awning is retracted, the fabric is completely rolled up inside the head box, creating a neat, clean-lined structure over the area.

Aalta supplied and installed the Patio Awning – 3795mm x 2270mm – white powder coat with Lisos Coco 3601 fabric. The result – a classy deck that keeps cool even when the sun is directly hitting the area but also allows natural light once the sun’s rays are no longer a problem.

What we also love about this project is the privacy screen – the warmth of timber looks great against the modern, slim lines of the awning. A rustic chair and a Florence Broadhurst cushion complete the picture of style, class and function.

The Outside Classroom


Umbrellas and shade cloth did not provide sufficient protection from the sun and rain

Before: western facing deck with umbrellas and shade cloth did not provide sufficient protection from the sun and rain

The retractable roofs have allowed the deck to be used for more functions and school activities through all seasons

After: the Papilio retractable roofs have allowed the deck to be used for more functions and school activities through the year

The Outside Classroom

The Kindergarten to Year 12 Independent School on the Northern Beaches prides itself on its beautiful semi-rural settings and has built outdoor spaces for the whole school community to enjoy.

The 21m x 9.5m deck at the school built beside the natural creek is a great asset to the school, enabling outdoor ‘classrooms’, community events such as morning teas and a great place for students and staff to enjoy the outdoors.

The school had some permanent umbrellas, which looked great but did not provide sufficient shade or protection from the rain, making it difficult for the community to use it all year round.

Aalta was commissioned to design, build and install a retractable roof over the area. The brief was to make sure the new retractable roof would fit in with the natural landscape, be long lasting and above all enable the school community to use the space for more functions and in different weather conditions.

Three Papilio Retractable Roofs were installed – each at 7m and a timber custom made frame ensured that the roof worked with the environmental surrounds. Each roof works independently via a multi-channel remote control, giving the school flexibility in its use.

Additionally, Aalta installed gas heaters to allow the community to enjoy the deck even in the colder months of the year or during evening functions.

The result is a wonderfully functional space that can be used in most weather conditions. The school community enjoys many functions and the senior students often use the deck to work on their assessments and for classroom discussions.

Here’s what our clients had to say about the project:

“The addition of our Aalta retractable roof has completely transformed our deck. The versatility and quality of the Aalta system is amazing! It not only looks fantastic, it also allows us to precisely control the balance between sunlight and shade to suit our preference on any given day.” Head of Operations