By Bruce N. Wright, AIA
Longgang Forest Park is a treasured landmark in Taoyuan City in northwest Taiwan. As more people discover the calming effects of nature, the park’s use has increased to the point of needing more user-friendly facilities. One facility recently built by the local municipal government is a park shelter that sits quietly and elegantly amid the greenery, inviting all passersby to stop and admire its design.
The shelter is a six-lobed circular shape of 1,410 square meters (or 42 meters in diameter). Seen from above, its form is somewhat reminiscent of sand dollars: a large star shape with a smaller star element in the center. Slits between the two fabric shapes allow air to flow upward by natural stack venting. Supporting the polytetra fluoroethylene (PTFE) coated glass fiber fabric is a circular structure composed of three cone-shaped pipes extending upward and four inverted cone shapes, alternating between upward and downward shapes to complete the circle.
Covertex Membranes (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. conceived this deceptively simple looking design as a cost-effective solution that requires less structural steel than a non-tensile structure would require. Covertex’s precisely fabricated canopy supports the growing demand for arts, entertainment and public speaking events in this popular city park.
This project won an Award of Excellence in IFAI’s 2018 International Achievement Awards competition.
Bruce N. Wright, AIA, is an architect, teacher, consultant to architects and designers and a frequent contributor to Specialty Fabrics Review, Fabric Architectureand Advanced Textiles Source.