KEEPING COOL INTERVIEW WITH DIDIER DEWYN FROM ACOOLA INNOVATIVE SHADE AS AN ART FORM
What are the various products Acoola (formerly TipTopShade) has to offer?
Acoola positions itself as a shade solutions provider, rather than as a vendor of mere products. Indeed, most of our clients do not contact us to buy an off-the-shelf shade they saw somewhere, but they expect and get from us inspiration, ideas and a shade solution plan that transforms their unprotected terrace, garden, patio or roof into an additional outdoor lounging area that they can use all year round. It regularly happens that someone enquires for a triangle shade sail (because their neighbour has it and it looks cool) but happily ends up with a stylish retractable awning with vertical valence (because from our site visit and tripod simulation it appeared that the sun would continue to shine under a traditional sail in the afternoon). So, besides the look, we value above all function! Flexibility is another important aspect when designing a shade solution. Ideally you want a system that shades only when needed, and otherwise has a minimal structural impact or ideally can be removed when not used during winter, with heavy rains, etc. Acoola’s solutions typically consist of shade sails, awnings and bioclimatic pergolas. It is the only provider on the Costa del Sol that offers the combination of this trio in the premium segment, and is official dealer of high quality European brands such as Sunsquare and Soliday for automatic and retractable shade sails; Umbrosa for umbrellas and fixed shade sails; Markilux for awning systems and screens; and Brustor for pergolas. Of course, our patrons also enjoy their systems in the evening, and therefore we offer practical add-ons like design LED lights, bioethanol fireplaces and infrared heaters to create light, warmth and above all atmosphere.
What are the benefits of shade sails?
Shade sails have been Acoola’s signature since its inception in Marbella now almost 10 years ago, and are inspired by the nautical design of sailing yachts. They are elegant and light to look at, versatile to install, and you can create and combine almost unlimited forms, shapes and angles. Shade sails especially come in very useful for those hard to cover spots, are highly wind resistant since they move with the wind, and are great to bridge big surface areas where other solutions like awnings fall too short. It is no wonder that architects, designers and renowned beach clubs and resorts like Ocean Club, Puro Beach, Hoteles Playa Globales and Sisu Boutique Hotel use the systems from Acoola. Also private residences benefit from shade sails, since the choices of waterproof, high UV resistant, translucent sail fabrics and the materials of the poles – powder-coated steel, marine grade stainless steel, aluminium or wood – allow us to create a truly unique design that can uplift the whole premises into a wonderful Zen area.
Tell us about some of your most interesting projects…
Acoola has a wide clientele spread all over the Costa del Sol from Málaga to Gibraltar that includes private (second) residents, designers, architects and hospitality businesses, with one thing in common:
wanting to squeeze the most out of their valuable external square metres! Where possible, we prefer simple and clean-cut solutions and each project, no matter the size or budget, is an enjoyable challenge. We focus on optimal qualityfor- budget ratios and therefore our solutions are affordable for everyone who is willing to invest in a quality shade solution that will last for years. However, there are always projects that stand out, albeit for the mere size and scope of the areas to cover. In this respect our Ocean Club project is a real eye-catcher. Over the years, we have developed an excellent understanding of what both management and customers want, and our combination of fixed and automatic retractable sails shading the large outdoor restaurant area is exemplary of the elegant yet functional solutions we add.
What after sales service do you offer?
Acoola always goes the extra mile for its clients. We keep a close and continuous relationship – if customers like it that way, of course – during the life cycle of the solution, which can last over a decade with a high-quality shade. For this purpose a Carefree Maintenance Package is offered as an option, and this entails follow-up of the system across the seasons with maintenance, take-off and take-on, cleaning of the structures and storage of the shade sails. For other systems, regular checks are carried out, especially during winter, when a lot of clients are not in the region and it can rain and blow very hard, like we experienced this winter with the floods. Of course, when there is an imminent problem during high season, it is being solved right away and if possible on the spot, even if it means that we have to put up a temporary solution until spare parts have arrived. At our well- equipped warehouse, ,we have a large stock of replacement sails, so our clients can keep their heads cool even during the hottest of times. Included in the service package and highly appreciated, I must say.
Tell us more about the pergolas that you offer and their technology?
At the beginning of 2016, we decided to add bioclimatic pergolas to our product range. This ground- breaking concept in patio covers – which regulates the temperature and ventilation of your patio naturally while protecting you from the sun and bad weather – originates from western Europe where the climate is colder yet people are desperately seeking to extend their indoor living to the outdoors. Brustor, the Belgian premium brand for awnings, has been developing its sleek design aluminium pergolas from the very start, and its systems have been tested with thousands of installations in the most severe climates across Europe. Highly technology driven, Brustor now is also the first on the market with a fully convertible pergola, whereby the roof louvers not only rotate in a 150-degree position like the other models, but also can slide completely to one side, opening up the whole roof for those starry evenings or to welcome the warming sunlight in between seasons. Acoola demonstrated the versatility of this new model during the Estepona Home Fair, where it was very well received by visitors. What we like most about the Brustor pergolas is the seamless integration of the modules with the surrounding architecture and the fact that they are endlessly accessorisable: according to each budget, a client can start with a basic open module, and then afterwards, without any visible alteration, integrate sliding glass doors or the popular curtains to close the sides, add automatic wind and bug screens that are already built-in in the frame, put up an infrared heater, LED lighting, etc… However, irrespective of the specific model one chooses, the key reasons for opting for a pergola remain the same: the motorised remote controlled blades for opening the roof when and where you want, the protection from rain with built-in rainwater drainage gutters and wind resistance up to 165 km/h, the natural temperature regulation and ventilation, avoiding the greenhouse feel, and last but not least the easy maintenance, just using plain water from below.
Acoola Shade & Outdoor Fashion Boutique (appointment only)
Pol. Ind. San Pedro de Alcántara, on the corner of Carril
Picaza and C/ Luxemburgo (near the ITV).
Tel. (+34) 661 030 816
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.acoola.eu