Importance of the context for the design of the membrane structure
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
This work underlines the importance of the context for the design of membrane structures. There are many aspects that can influence the design and it is difficult to summarize all of them in few points, especially because structural membranes are mainly chosen by clients and architects because of their capability to reach shapes and limits that other structural types are not able to. However, three main aspects should always be considered while designing a membrane structure: shape, environment and installation. The architects, designers and engineers mainly focalize their attention in one of them together with others like: light, space, structure, ecc., but I believe that these aspects need to be always simultaneously evaluated. The shape is important following the architectural signature and the aesthetical result. The second aspect, environment, can be considered as: natural environment (respect of the Nature), architectural environment (harmony with the existing surrounding), and comfort environment (respect of the comfort for the users). The third aspect that is frequently neglected or underestimated on earlier design stages is the method of installation and how this can influence the result of the final structure. In order to exemplify each of the three mentioned aspects, this work presents three different membrane projects executed by Taiyo Europe. In these three projects, each one of the mentioned aspects was particularly emphasized. The first project, where the shape aspect was particularly important, is the ETFE skylight of the Podium Zaha Hadid realized in Milano (Italy). The second one, where the environment was prevalent, is the PTFE roof covering the prehistorical temple of Tarxien (Malta). The third one is the Cardo and Decumano PVC structure realized for Milano Expo 2015, in this project the installation method was essential once several different structures were being simultaneously executed in a very narrow space. By these examples this work emphasizes the importance of carefully assessing that the shape, environment and installation conditions during the entire develop of a membrane structure.
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