The Flying Mast

(insane in the membrane...)

Inflatable Roof Collapse… WOW!

mmm… guess somebody miscalculated the snow loads here…

On Sunday 12th December 2010 the inflatable roof of the Metrodome ­– the Minnesota Vikings’ stadium – collapsed under extreme snow load. The extent of the damage is huge, but fortunately nobody was hurt. According to media report, more than 40cm of fresh snow came down in the heavy snow storms that heat the city’s area. This is not the first incident; the roof had already collapsed under similar circumstances in 1981, 1982 and 1983. The Vikings are therefore planning to build a new stadium and say goodbye in the next season to the Metrodome.

Watch here the spectacular collapse:

(Credit: foxsports via YouTube)

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December 21, 2010 - 4:56 PM Comments: Closed

BC Place’s New Roof – Follow Up

Here’s a video explaining the construction method of the steal masts and cables that will support the BC place’s new roof.

This is a link to a very interesting video broadcasted on the Discovery Channel, showing the 1:1 experimental model of two segments of the retractable roof, that was set-up in Sunnyside, United States. The model is meant to test the behavior under various weather conditions of what will be the world’s largest retractable roof.

Worth watching! For the interesting part skip to 09:50. link.

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November 11, 2010 - 4:35 PM Comments: Closed

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 Moses Mabhida Stadium

(Credit: David J. Roberts via Flickr)

The Moses Mabhida stadium – named after the former general secretary of the South African Communist Party – is one of the three stadiums designed by the German firm GMP Architekten for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This project group consisted of a total of 32 South African architectural firms plus GMP Architekten as consultant architects and Schlaich Bergermann und Partner as conceptual structural engineers.

(Credit: Sir. Mo via Flickr)

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is situated on an elevated platform in the central sports park on the shore of the Indian Ocean, and is accessed from the city and station via a broad flight of steps.

(Credit: Sir. Mo via Flickr)

The construction was finished in 2009 and some matches have been already held in this venue. The Moses Mabhida Stadium has a capacity to seat 70,000, and will host one of the FIFA 2010 World Cup semi-final matches. After the games, the number will be reduced to 56,000, but can be temporarily increased to as many as 85,000 for major events.

(Credit: David J. Roberts via Flickr)

The project features a 105m arch that rises high over the stadium, and is destined to become an architectural icon and city landmark in Durban’s skyline.

(Credit: Sir. Mo via Flickr)

The 350m long free-span steel arch weighs 2600 tons, and carries the weight of the inner membrane roof with 95mm-diameter steel cables.

(Credit: ¡Fgz! via Flickr)

(Credit: ChameleonGreen via Flickr)

The unusual geometry of the cable system is derived logically from the structure.

Radial prestressing cables are attached to the external edge of the roof all round the stadium and the great arch on one side and the inner edge of the roof on the other, thus forcing the latter into an almond shape.

The bifurcation of the huge arch at the south end forms the main entrance of the stadium. At the northern end, a cable car transports visitors to the ‘Skydeck’ at the apex of the arch to get a panoramic view of the city and the Indian Ocean.

(Credit: ChameleonGreen via Flickr)

The 46,000m2 PTFE-coated roof membrane admits 50% of the sunlight into the arena while also providing shade and shelter from rain to 80% of the stadium.

(Credit: Marc Forrest via Flickr)

By night the roof surfaces is illuminated on top by a line of LEDs mounted directly on the arch and from below by floodlights installed on the catwalk, resulting in a spectacular view.

(Credit: nozoomii via Flickr)

The compression ring and façade are carried on precast concrete columns below and hollow box steel columns above, the height and angle of inclination varying around the stadium from approx. 30m with a 90° inclination to about 50m with a 60° inclination.

(Credit: YattaCat via Flickr)

The façade is covered with perforated metal sheeting which give the stadium a light and airy feel. This solution provides shelter from rain and strong winds while allowing in natural light and ventilation.

For more info on The Moses Mabhida Stadium see also:

dezeen.com

designboom.com

archdaily.com

inhabitat.com

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June 12, 2010 - 9:30 AM Comments: Closed

The World Cup stadiums in South Africa

The Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban (Credit: smee.bruce on Flickr)

Within only a few hours the FIFA 2010 World Cup will kickoff in South Africa!

The world Cup is without a doubt one of the biggest televised events on earth – A 30-day-long global summer party.

The matches will take place in 10 venues in nine cities across South Africa, Five of which were built especially for the tournament, and five of the existing venues were upgraded.

View Larger Map

In addition to the sportive manifestation, viewers from all over the world will witness some spectacular examples of membrane roofing.

In the following days I will be covering on this blog some of most stunning stadiums where the 32 competing national teams will strive to win the desired FIFA World Cup Trophy.

In the meanwhile you can take a look at all ten stadiums that will host the World Cup modeled in 3D on Google Earth and Google Maps. You can download the gadget here.

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June 11, 2010 - 2:46 PM Comments: Closed

Tulip Umbrella by MDT-tex

MDT-tex had exhibited its beautiful design of the Tulip Umbrella in the Salone del Mobile 2010 in Milan. An impressive installation was held in the scenic inner court of Palazzo Isimbardi as part of the Fuori Salone events.

Tulip Umbrellas by MDT-tex at the Salone del Mobile 2010

The tulip Umbrella is practically an “upside-down” umbrella that opens upward –unlike the traditional umbrellas – and provides shelter from sun and rain.

Tulip Umbrellas by MDT-tex at the Salone del Mobile 2010

Tulip Umbrellas by MDT-tex at the Salone del Mobile 2010

It is a further development of the Converted Umbrella experimented on many occasions by Frei Otto and Bodo Rasch, probably the most notable of which is Rasch’s project for the inner Courtyard of the Prophet’s Holy Mosque in Medinah (1990-92). MDT-tex is the first company that produces and commercializes these convertible umbrellas to the vast market.

Tulip Umbrella (via www.mdt-tex.com)

The design of the Tulip Umbrella allows the rainwater to be collected in the central low-point of the umbrella and be washed-down trough a transparent drainage tube that wraps around the supporting column. It comes with either rectangular frame or circular frame and its opening mechanism is both manual and motorized.

Its beauty lays in its simplicity, coherency and functionality

Tulip Umbrella (via www.mdt-tex.com)

Tulip Umbrella (via www.mdt-tex.com)

MDT-tex is a pioneering German company that designs, builds and sells for more then a decade high-end sunshade systems, membrane constructions and custom-made products worldwide.

The company conducts the entire production process within its fully automated cutting-edge facilities – including the fabrication of the polyester-yarn membranes – in order to guarantee the high quality of its products.

A video from the Salone del Mobile 2010 (in Italian):

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May 19, 2010 - 12:40 PM Comments: Closed

The “Expo Boulevard” on designboom.com

The Sun Valleys in Shanghai (via designboom.com)

designboom.com just published a very interesting article on the “Expo Boulevard” (also known as the “sun Valleys”) – the huge membrane structure that covers the main entrance to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai – designed by the Stuttgart based practice SBA from and Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering (also from Stuttgart).

You can find the article here.

Here’s a previous post i wrote a few months ago on this blog regarding this impressive tensile structure.

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May 16, 2010 - 11:41 AM Comments: Closed

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

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