Graphics applications

April 1, 2009

New applications of graphic elements are a species of fabric architecture that allows the most colorful and visual creativity. Environmental graphics fabricators constantly look for new ways to grab the eye or fill a space. The key to selecting the proper fabric is knowing the function a banner or graphic element is to perform. Other …

Definitions to know

Denier is an international system for measuring the weight (linear density) of fabric. Officially, it is the number of unit weights of 0.05g/ 450m length. It is a direct numbering system in which the lower numbers represent the finer sizes and the higher numbers the coarser sizes. In the U.S., the denier system is used …

Lighting the way

March 1, 2009

Fabric’s traditional role in architecture has centered on shading, with awnings or other fabric constructions tempering the sun. Yet today, sunlight — the natural light form — has competition. By Todd Willmert Writing in the early 1900s, the noted Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier struggled — along with other designers and architects — with the new …

Specifying green roof fabrics

January 1, 2009

Learning how to make the right material choices, without compromising sustainability. By Bruce Dvorak Roofscapes across North America are beginning to turn green, not just because of their hue, or sustainable fabrication, but “green” in an organic sense of the word. Rooftops are blooming in the form of green roofs and roof gardens. A green …

Fabric façades

September 1, 2008

New sustainable advantages can be found by wrapping a building in fabric. By Steve Fredrickson Fabric façades are quickly becoming an important component in today’s architectural world, in large part due to their ease of design but, more importantly, as a means to drastically reduce energy consumption of buildings. This article is designed to not …

Designing fabric structures

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 …

Graphics for better buildings

July 1, 2008

Enlivening building façades and streetscapes to create places for people. By Paula Rees It is time that designers take a breath of responsibility and think creatively. Fabric architecture’s uses, new materials and technological advances offer endless options and incredible design possibilities. As an environmental designer, the main focus of my work is with how places …

Tensile structures: Do it yourself

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 …

Rooftop gutter and ETFE clamping assembly

May 1, 2008

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 …