The Flying Mast

(insane in the membrane...)

So long Giant Marshmallow

The Iconic inflatable roof of the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada – aka the “giant marshmallow” – was finally deflated last may.

(Credit: John Bollwitt via Flickr)

(Credit: maplemusketeer via Flickr)

The existing pneumatic dome is to be dismantled and replaced with a partially fixed, partially retractable fabric roof as well as a transparent membrane façade.

When completed, this roof will be the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world. The projected area of the retractable portion of the roof is approximately 6,700m², requiring a total of approximately 13,400m² of membrane material.

The project’s estimated budget is $458 million, and it is scheduled for completion by summer 2011.

The  new roof would cut energy costs at the stadium by one quarter, or about $350,000 per year.

A model of the new roof:

(Credit: Michael Kwan (Freelancer) via Flickr)

The project was designed by Stantec Architects Ltd, with structural engineering being provided by Geiger Engineers, New York, USA and Schlaich Bergermann & Partners, Stuttgart, Germany, supported by specialist consultants from Tensys.

The entire retractable roof and the fixed façade for the stadium is supplied by the Hightex GmbH in Germany – a world leader in the design and construction of retractable roof systems.

The fixed roof will be completed by FabriTec Structures, a brand of USA Shade & Fabric Structures – an award-winning full service
design/build organization specializing in tensile membrane structures.

From Hightex’s web site:

The contract will involve the fabrication and installation of the complete retractable portion of the membrane roof system in Tenara membrane, a woven, high translucency PTFE fabric, as well as the façade system to be fabricated from a transparent membrane with a light-controlling frit pattern. The design work will commence immediately, with completion planned to take place in mid 2011.

[…]

The new roof substructure consists of radial cable net and outer steel columns. The fabric roof is divided up into 36 fixed outer panels and 36 inner retractable segments. The outer fixed roof, to be the subject of a separate contract, has an area of about 34,000m². The inner roof will consist of a double layer Tenara membrane with an inflated inter-space to form “cushion” elements.

The cushions will be pre-stressed using hydraulic tensioning units and inflation via fan units. The retractable roof will be connected to the 36 radial cables by specially designed sliding and driving carriages. The deflated cushion will be stored at the centre of the roof in a membrane garage. To close the roof, the driving carriages will pull the membrane outwards radially towards the perimeter. The retractable roof is made of a highly translucent fabric which will allow the fabric to be folded without damage.

The new façade comprises some 6,000m² of transparent membrane panels using ETFE. The facade panels are pre-stressed using metal arches and are attached directly to the primary steel structure.

The deflation of the BC stadium – Time Lapse:

The deflation seen from the inside:

(Credit: miss604 via Flickr)

(Credit: miss604 via Flickr)

(Credit: miss604 via Flickr)

(Credit: miss604 via Flickr)

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October 20, 2010 - 4:00 PM Comments: Closed

International Conference on Structures and Architecture, ICSA 2010

The International Conference on Structures and Architecture, ICSA 2010, will be held in Guimarães (Portugal), from the 21-23 July 2010.

I will be presenting in the event, together with Eng. Iago González Quelle, the lecture “Tensile Structures. Interdisciplinary Teamwork as win-win Situation “.

We will be sharing our professional experience together and highlight the importance and benefits of a cross-disciplinary collaboration between architects and engineers in the design of tensile structures. In effect, one of the most distinctive aspects of tensile architecture is that architectural design and structural engineering are intrinsically engaged from the earliest phase of the planning process. This alliance affects significantly the aesthetic qualities of the project.

We will also addresses the potential of parametric design in the field of membrane architecture.

The conference will focus on the recent developments in the construction field and intends to stimulate and promote interdisciplinary teamwork between Architects and Structural Engineers.

The Conference will be held at the Convention Centre of the Campus of Azurém of the University of Minho in Guimarães, Portugal.

The conference program can be downloaded here.

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June 24, 2010 - 9:30 AM Comments: Closed

The Japanese Pavilion for Expo 2010

(Source: designboom)

Japan Pavilion is a 24 meters high construction of double-layer ETFE cushions mounted on a lightweight steel frams. With its approximately 6,000m² plot It will be among the largest of all foreign pavilions at Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

More after the break.

Continue Reading “The Japanese Pavilion for Expo 2010″

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December 21, 2009 - 12:13 PM Comments: Closed

Special Mention Prize at the 10th Student Competition “Textile Structures for New Building 2009″

Arch. Erez Amitay and Eng. Iago Gonzalez Quelle win the Special Mention Prize in the Macro Architecture Category at the at the tenth student competition “Textile Structures for New Buildings 2009” – an international competition organized by Techtextil and TensiNet.

The award ceremony was held in Frankfurt am Main at the Congress Center Messe Frankfurt on 15 June 2009.
The award-winning projects were on show in a special exhibition for the entire duration of Techtextil.

The jury guided by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Sobek had commented the project like this:

The Laboratorium “Blum” by Iago Gonzalez Quelle and Erez Amitay from Spain receives special commendation. “Blum” is an amalgam of laboratory and office. The geometry of the building is conceived as an extruded helix with a square cross section. EFTE foil cushions, which are suitable for both roof and external walls, are used in a regular manner and create the homogeneity of the overall impression. The design appeals because of the clarity of the style and the care of its execution. It was the result of a first-semester project at the University of Saxony-Anhalt in Dessau.

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June 15, 2009 - 6:14 PM Comments: Closed