Tensioned fabric dresses up hand-made boats

September 1, 2008

Traditional Mexican trajineras take on the latest technology to provide a stylish pleasure ride. By Steve Fredrickson The Aztecs may well have invented a form of canoe used for transportation called trajineras. Similar in function to the Italian gondola rides, the trajineras (or “hauling boat” in Spanish), were designed to move people from place to …

Geotextile mat helps hold North Dakota river in place

The Grand Forks, North Dakota river jumped its banks; now a geotextile mat helps hold it in place. By Adam Regn Arvidson On the riverfront in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in a park called the Town Green, is a concrete obelisk that commemorates floods. The tip of that obelisk, 16.5m above the Red River of …

Conference presenters share experiences with fabric-formed architectural structures

A conference on the use of fabric formwork for architectural structures drew interest from around the world. By Sharon Roe Whether you are drawn to the sinewy, sensuous concrete forms shaped by spandex or to the simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility of the geotextile-formwork, this conference was a feast for the eyes and food for the …

Trade show to focus on worldwide energy consumption

The leading global trade fair for rolling shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems will be placing special focus on one of the most pressing problems of our time: the rapidly rising levels of worldwide energy consumption. Studies have shown that installing one or more of these systems can lead to outstanding energy savings. Energy efficiency …

2008 ACADIA conference to cover biological processes and computation

The Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) will hold its 2008 conference on the theme of biological processes and computation in Minneapolis, Minn. from Oct. 16-19. The conference, named “Silicon & Skin,” seeks to identify and examine current trends in digital design technologies develop and applied in the framework of biologically inspired processes and …

West Coast project to use plants to cover building façade

French architect and 2008 Pritzker Laureate Jean Nouvel’s first project on the West Coast of the United States will be “green” within and out. Located between Century City and Los Angeles, the architect’s luxury condominium building is dubbed the “green blade” for its horizontal bands of foliage that will cover the façade. The project, “10,000 …

High-tech lightweight fabric roof covers performance facility

Early August, 5,000 patrons attended the inaugural performance by the Sun Valley Symphony in its new performance facility, the Sun Valley Pavilion, in Trail Creek Canyon of Sun Valley, Idaho. The amphitheater, designed by FTL Design Engineering Studio, reflects acoustical excellence, sporting a highly engineered permanent steel-cable roof (the first of its kind in the …

World’s largest mobile venue to tour

Norwegian designers, Various Architects (VA) have designed the Mobile Performance Venue (MPV) for the Arts Alliance Productions performance “ID – Identity of the Soul”, which will tour worldwide in 2009. The MPV is a dynamically twisting 90m by 60m ellipse with curving walls and a lightweight cable roof. The project is designed around five large …

Australia’s largest temporary shade structure keeps sports cool

Tradition is important at Victoria Park Racecourse, where sporting events, from equestrian competitions to the Clipsal 500 Adelaide V-8 Supercar race, attract South Australian enthusiasts. Full sun-exposure detracts from patrons’ enjoyment, and while permanent solutions are debated, Shadework International, Stirling, Australia, installed the largest temporary shade structure in Australia in Victoria Park. Roger Cook, chair …

Dome houses Made in Berlin exhibition

Berlin has a new creative ambassador in the form of the Berlin Design Dome. The dome was created to house the Made in Berlin exhibition at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, a trade show for furniture and interior design. The dome, designed by Susanne Philippson and Zendome, was built to invoke Berlin’s television …