Tensile Structures have become famous
Tensile Fabric Structures are now a firmly established technology in architectural design throughout the world. They bring many irresistible advantages to planners and designers – fast construction, environmentally friendly materials, wide lightweight spans to name but three. They are suitable for everything from car ports to super-stadia. Here are just a few of the world’s landmark projects of spatial structures.
The Georgia Dome
This stadium in Atlanta has hosted two Superbowls beneath the world’s largest cable supported dome. An intricate network of cables supports a 395,000 sq.ft. roof composed of fabric panels made from hyperbolic paraboloid shapes. 2,750″ in circumference, daylight diffusing through its big top creates a perfect light and airy atmosphere.
The O2 Dome
Constructed to mark the millennium year 2000, its floor diameter of 365 metres is said to represent the 365 days of the year, and its 12 masts the months. It is built on the edge of Greenwich, a place already entrenched in history as the birthplace of modern time-keeping.
Its original name, the Millenium Dome, evoked the fact that tensile structures are here to change the 21st Century skyline, however current owners O2 have won the right to keep their name on it until 2027.
Ten years earlier, marketing company Imagination had an old Victorian school in London converted into a superb exhibition space and headquarters by the addition of a new tensile canopy roof to create a five storey atrium.
Ashford Designer Outlet
This shopping centre in Ashford, Kent features a continuous kilometre long tensile membrane roof using a PVC coated polyester fabric.
FIFA Fan Zone Qatar
This beautiful and supremely practical event space was commissioned ready to be used for the screening of the 2014 World Cup. Ringed by fabric towers, the main roof is also spanned by a retractable fabric roof to shield from rain or the blistering day time temperatures.
Denver International is the world’s third largest. The Teflon coated fibreglass roof resembles the peeks of the Rocky Mountains capped with snow, whilst also standing up to Denver’s temperature extremes.
Royal Marquee Kazakhstan
This little known gem in the oil-rich capital city of Astana is the tallest tensile structure in the world. The building encloses a shopping centre and an indoor beach resort – much appreciated in landlocked Kazakhstan. We wonder what Borat makes of that.