The skins game: economy of scale in fabric structures

May 1, 2012

The low and high cost of insulating fabric structures. By Samuel J. Armijos It has been 45 years since the German Pavilion was erected for Expo ’67 world’s fair in Montreal, Q.C., Canada. The structural system of this early fabric structure was a steel cable net that supported a pre-stressed textile membrane. The 7,200m2 structure …

Raise high the (textile) roof beams

April 16, 2012

The 17th annual international workshop on architectural membrane structures will introduce new materials and techniques in Berlin Textile Roofs 2012 May 14–16 Berlin, Germany University of Technology Berlin Textile Roofs 2012 workshop provides fundamental information, state-of-the-art textile roof engineering and practical, hands-on sessions. Lectures—presented in English—are given by leaders in the membrane structure industry. During …

The cost of building fabric structures (part 2)

January 1, 2011

Experienced professionals comment on cost estimating awnings and canopies By Mason Riddle Editor’s note: Part 1 of this two-part series on cost estimating appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue. It used to be that an awning was an awning was an awning,” states Richard Forward, owner of Out West Awning Co., Colorado Springs, Colo. “But …

The cost of building fabric structures (part 1)

January 1, 2010

Experienced professionals comment on how much it costs to build fabric structures By Samuel J. Armijos Editor’s note: Part 2 of this two-part series on cost estimating appears in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. The hardest part of designing and building a fabric structure is determining its cost. There are three major components to a fabric …

The advantages of inflatable structures

October 26, 2009

Flexible and economical, air-supported structures fill multiple market niches. By Holly O’Dell When it comes to inflatable products, many people think of bouncy castles, parade floats or dancing tubes used for advertising. But the world of air-supported structures, or inflatables, extends far beyond the use of entertainment and advertising to industrial, military, architectural and aerospace …

Designing fabric structures

September 1, 2008

Three quick steps to success. By Samuel J. Armijos Step one: Do your research The best way to incorporate a fabric structure in a project or design a stand-alone fabric structure is to see what has already been done. Magazines such as Fabric Architecture, books on fabric structures and basic searches on the Internet using …

Tensile structures: Do it yourself

July 1, 2008

At the Free University of Brussels, Dr. Marijke Mollaert’s architecture students design and then build their fabric structure. By Lars De Laet “Design and build your own Tensile Surface Structure!” This unique opportunity and challenge is what students from the 1st and 2nd Master in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering can expect in the course …

Networks of influence: Blurring the roles between engineers and architects

A student of Otto explains how she teaches the basics. By Mark Zeh More than in any other branch of architecture, the creation of cables and membrane structures requires coöperative work and a blurring of roles between engineers and architects. Recently I talked with Prof Dr. –Ing. Rosemarie Wagner of the Department of Architecture at …

Architect to publish book on tension structure technology

September 1, 2007

Architect Roberto Santomauro of Montevideo is publishing a introductory book on tension structure technology. Not intended as an in-depth study, Tensoestructuras is directed at students, architects, engineers, designers and builders who are curious about the technology’s possibilities.

Glossary of awning terms

April 1, 2006

Definitions Awning: An architectural fabric projection that provides weather protection, identity or decoration and is wholly supported by the building to which it is attached. An awning is comprised of a lightweight frame structure over which a cover is attached. Canopy: An architectural projection that provides weather protection, identity or decoration and is supported by …