The Flying Mast

(insane in the membrane...)

Photovoltaic Tensile Structures by FTL Solar

FTL Solar's PowerMod

FTL Solar – an American company founded in 1998 – has developed a range of sustainable products that integrate lightweight tensile fabrics with thin photovoltaic panels called PowerMods®.

PowerMods provide shelter while generating enough solar electricity (up to 4.5 kWh a day) that could power construction tools, lights, fans, medical equipment, computers, and so on.

These versatile products are particularly lightweight, portable and flexible and therefore suitable for commercial, military and disaster relief purposes, as well as for car parks shades or small garden tent structures.

Via Inhabitat. com

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May 1, 2010 - 5:20 PM Comments: Closed

Fabric Church in L’Aquila, Italy

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

Arch. Enzo Eusebi of Nothing Studio has designed a “fabric church” that is planned to be built in the city of L’Acquila, Italy, by the end of 2010.

The Church of the Resurrection will be built in memory of the 307 victims of the earthquake that devastated the principal city of the region of Abruzzo in April 2009.

The project’s skin will be made of a translucent fiberglass membrane. The design is inspired – according to the architects – by the emergency facilities, and seeks to implement the concept of “Zero Impact” by using so-called low-tech construction methods.

The construction consists of a laminated wood structure and a triple-layered membrane that allows adequate thermal isolation while allowing the passage of filtered natural light.

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

Church of the Resurrection by Nothing Studio

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April 28, 2010 - 5:16 PM Comments: Closed

…and More about the U2 360° Design

An interactive graphic illustration on L.A. Times explains the construction phases of the U2 360° tour stage. See  link.

…and in case you wondered, I’m not a U2 enthusiast or anything like that…

The stage is cool though.

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November 4, 2009 - 4:19 PM Comments: Closed

More about U2’s 360° LED Screen

Two interesting videos on the making of the innovative 360° LED screen designed for U2 (see my previous post) and an interview with the design team.

For more info see Barco’s website – the company who provided the 500,000 pixels integrated in the transformable screen structure.

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November 4, 2009 - 12:28 PM Comments: Closed

U2 360° Space Station by STUFISH

(Source: STUFISH)

(Credit: Fran Simó on Flickr)

(Credit: Fran Simó on Flickr)

Architect Mark Fisher designed this stunning colossal stage for U2 360° Tour.

This futuristic set, nicknamed “The Claw”, is the tallest stage ever built for a rock concert, and it took almost three years to realize. Bono christened it the “U2 Space Station”.

Some might notice a slight incongruity between U2’s environmental/humanitarian activity and this extravaganza… but who cares, it looks great.

The elliptical 436,5m² stage was placed in the center of the arena, avoiding the conventional end-stage stadium show, in order to guarantee a better view to anyone in the crowd. This solution leaves the band free to move in any direction and maintain a greater intimacy with the surrounding audience, despite the scale of the show.

(Credit: jas_gd on Flickr)

(Credit: jas_gd on Flickr)

Willie Williams the show director got the inspiration for the supporting structure from the 1961 LAX theme restaurant in L.A. Airport (USA) by architect James Langenheim / Pereira + Luckman, he imagined a similar structure, with the legs spanning clear across the full width of a football field so that both band and audience stood beneath the structure, with the entire production equipment (sound, lights and video screen) hanging above the band. The conventional supporting towers would obstruct sightlines from a large number of seats. The structure is 30m high and spans 57.5m. The tip of the central pylon reaches 51.8m. All together it weights 190 tonnes.

LAX_Theme_Restaurant

LAX theme restaurant in L.A. Airport (1961) by architect James Langenheim / Pereira + Luckman (Source: www.you-are-here.com)

The spectacular giant cone-shaped video screen hanging beneath the structure in the void over the stage was designed with artist and engineer Chuck Hoberman. It is made of LED panels mounted on kinetic scissor mesh surface that expand and contracts changing the image density from 100% solid to almost 50% transparent. The video screen is made of 1,000,000 different pieces and weights 74 tonnes.

U2-360_6

(Credit: Salomao Nunes on Flickr)

The tensile membrane cladding of the structure allows low packing volume and fast assembly and gives the entire project a strong identifiable expressiveness. The form-finding and detailing of the membrane was done by David Dexter Associates.

Three 4.8m diameter inverted umbrellas were placed below the stage and deployed whenever needed to keep the band and equipment dry. These umbrellas were originally invented by Frei Otto in 1971 for a garden exhibition in Germany.

(Credit: Talie on Flickr)

(Credit: Talie on Flickr)

(Credit: Sam Judson on Flickr)

(Credit: Sam Judson on Flickr)

Touring such a massive structure is logistically very complex. Three sets of the metalwork were built so they could travel in parallel between the cities, each one taking four days to build and two days to take down, with one day in the middle for production load-in and one day for the show. Everything else, the video screen, lighting, sound, stage, etc. (176 tonnes) would be toured separately as universal production, to be loaded in during the 36 hours preceding the show. 201 trucks were needed to move the entire production – equipment, steel systems, barricade and generators.

The first show took place at Camp Nou in Barcelona, on 30 June 2009 in front of a crowd of 90,000 people.

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Production Credits:

Show Director/Designer – Willie Williams

Architect – Mark Fisher

Video screen kinetic design – Chuck Hoberman

Structural and membrane engineering – Neil Thomas, Atelier One

Video screen structural engineering – Buro Happold, New York

Membrane form finding – Gavin Sayers, David Dexter

Membrane Fabrication: Architen Landrell Associates

Polyp Mushrooms: Steel Monkey Engineering

Primary Steelwork Fabrication: StageCo

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November 3, 2009 - 12:39 PM Comments: Closed