Tension structure or Tensile structure

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tensile structures create eye catching sculptural membranes of fabric and steel to achieve open, yet protective environments. Tensile structures are lightweight and flexible; a versatile design medium that allows incredible free span roofs with interior spaces connected to the outside by their light and openness. Translucent by day and luminescent at night, tensile architecture provides sustainable, cost effective, and artistic design solutions that interact with the environment.

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lightweight and flexible
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Tensile structures are lightweight and flexible; a versatile design medium that allows incredible free span roofs with interior spaces connected to the outside by their light and openness. Translucent by day and luminescent at night, tensile architecture provides sustainable, cost effective, and artistic design solutions that interact with the environment.

Large span tensile structures
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Large span tensile structures are a true collaborative effort between the architect, engineer, and the fabric contractor. From the initial conceptual design, to the final shape of the structure; once the loads are analyzed and determined, fabrics can be chosen, cables selected, and the hardware design and manufacturing details finalized.

Cables
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Cables are often an integral part of tensile structures and are pre stressed to the appropriate loads to tension the fabric and prevent it from creeping. They can be provided in stainless or galvanized steel with terminal fittings in stainless or powder coated with any custom color. Connective fittings provide an opportunity for a unique design statement. Together the elements add to the marvel of the overall structure.

Projects (Blue Moon Groningen )
Architect: ITO FOA London Product: PVC-coated polyester fabric printed in 3 colours

This tensile structure consists of a composite membrane with a printed fabric. A table was to be placed under this tensile structure with a diameter of 30 meter for meetings around the table and theatre. The bottom is grey. The restriction was that loose tension ropes could not be used. A 3-leg variant finally became an asymmetrical 4-leg variant because 3 points produced too much tension in the foundations. The system for the tensioning, a tent structure with cables, provides a simple projection detail because the cables already have a load-bearing function over the whole of the support in the plane.

Projects

(Desert Tent)

This unique type of tent was designed to be free from any inner structural support for the purpose of accommodating large number of guests. As the tent is located in a desert camp in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula, the tough weather had to be well studied and considered in the early design stage. Targeting such a goal in mind, a 150Km/H wind speed was considered for wind load and tight fabric details were carefully reviewed for the tent roof and side walls to prevent any water or dust leakage. Furthermore, a strong thick material fabric was used to resist the extreme hot sunray and strong winds. The tent covers an area of 1200 sq . Galvanized steel cables (prestressed) were used (similar to those used in suspended bridges) for suspending the tent from the top. This giant tent was designed in length of 60m and width of 20m with an altitude of 15m to emphasize the outer strength stretching the tent. A heavy PVC material was used for the roof and sidewalls to create a masterpiece in the middle of the desert.

Projects

(Hilton Hotel)

Located on the Red Sea Coast in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, considered to be one of the most beautiful hotel in the Middle East. The outer shade of the coffee shop is made of PTFE (TEFLON) coated fabric designed to have harmonic geometrical & architectural shape that meets with the Hotel design elegance. The shade covers a space of 350 sqm. Stretched into 6 columns with different height. PTFE coated fabric is considered to be the most suitable material for Hot weather environment with it's high resistance to UV value and non-combustible property in addition to it's long life expectancy guarantee.

Load distribution

Advantages of membrane system extremes of temperature Resistant to
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Excellent construction properties Customised properties to meet specific requirements - nonflammable, UV-resistant, opaque to transparent, selfcleaning, etc. Long-life Acoustic optimisation Recyclable Ecologically efficient use of materials High level of pre-fabrication Low transport and storage costs

Shape in membrane

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