Rooftop gutter and ETFE clamping assembly

May 1st, 2008 / By: / Hardware & Rigging

PTW Architects designed the Beijing National Aquatic Center to take advantage of ETFE’s lightweight to clad the entire building with the air-filled pillows (“bubbles”)—twice! First, for a protective exterior façade and second, for an interior “façade” of the same material with a 5m airspace between them. At the roof level, rain gutters are built into the structure that runs between pillows (below detail) and a clamping edge for the multi-layer ETFE pillow is integrated into the gutter wall. Air supply hoses, connected to a supply manifold provide each bubble with the proper air pressure to maintain structural integrity.

Helen Elias is a contributing editor for Fabric Architecture. Her piece on the memorial to the victims of the Madrid train bombings appeared in the March/April issue.

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