Jeffrey Bruce, FASLA, finds new applications for erosion and water control fabrics. One area where the fabric industry can contribute is in developing geotextile wall systems for holding plantings in place against buildings or as stand-alone structures.
Working with local landscape architect Terry Guen and with The Gustafson Group based in Seattle, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co. provided soil and irrigation design for the rooftop landscape resolution in areas of Chicago’s Millennium Park. Applied research and holistic designers are forging the green design investment.
This is an investment in our future, with building materials that will harness and incorporate sustainable efficiencies. Yes, this sound really futuristic. But guess what, it’s already happening in today’s designs & is absolutely necessary for the survival of urban culture.
TensileDraw is an AutoCAD and RHINO fully compatible and integrated plug-in software package developed in collaboration with Maffeis Engineering & Consulting. It can simulate well balanced force stress distribution on the membrane surface without complicating file exportation and related compatibility problems. The U.I. is simple & easy, but honestly the hardest next step is developing the hardware. Yes there is several other membrane modeling programs, as of today ixForTen 4000 R 4.2.6 being the best & most complete. The point is the ease & flexibility of tensile textile architecture design. The textile design form is certainly exciting & at its infancy.
Daniel Burnham created the “Master Plan of Chicago” which originally envisioned five piers. Eventually, only one 1.5 mile long recreational pier with freight and passenger ship docking facilities was commissioned to be built near the mouth of the Chicago River. Now 2010, let the Navy Pier architecture derby begin. First out of the gate: Helmut Jahn. The German-American, Chicago-based architect has a bold vision for redeveloping the pier, which couldn’t be more timely in light of Wednesday’s announcement that the lakefront icon will get a major overhaul by its 100th anniversary in 2016.
The plan, which Jahn showed privately to pier executives in 2008, addresses several of the pier’s nagging problems: its hodgepodge of historic and contemporary buildings; its mazelike . An enormous curving canopy, made of red steel arches and topped with a taut fabric roof, that would be bracketed by the classically-inspired buildings at the pier’s head and foot. The canopy would join the pier’s disparate structures into a single, overarching image, comparable to a sail or a wave.
Yes, it’s over the top and, in all likelihood, ridiculously expensive. But it’s full of creative sparks — precisely what was missing from the largely predictable list of recommendations made by a visiting panel of developers in conjunction with the news about the pier’s revamp.
+ Blair Kamin; chicagotribune.com
Temporary structures actually make a lot of sense in today’s changeable world. And fabric architecture is ideally suited to meet these business needs. The Skyroom is a contemporaneous structure that also recently appeared on a rooftop. The Skyroom is constructed of steel with a copper mesh façade and a roof of ETFE pillows. Contractor was REM Projects and ETFE roof fabricator was Architen Landrell with Inflate as consultants; structural engineer was Form Structural Design. I envision portable buildings and temporary structures systems providing economical alternatives to conventional metal buildings or commercial tents with options of lease or purchase options.
+ davidkohn.co.uk; Skyroom
+ Zaha Hadid, Bowling Green proposal
MakMax’s innovative facade products make use of Profil TS technology, a lightweight aluminum extrusion that allows for installation directly onto the building exterior, giving additional design flexibility while still reducing solar gain and, in the process, energy costs.
For me, like many others this resolves the question of tensile architecture design beyond roofs & canopies…flat vertical walls! Not only for use in new building design, smart applications including facade refurbishments make an old building look not only new, but interesting.
+ material: ETFE