THE CHALLENGE – UPGRADE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF A DISCONNECTED RETAIL PRECINCT
Like many shopping districts that grow gradually over the years, the center of Porirua, New Zealand was a disparate mixture of buildings from different times. It also had an exposed position – shoppers frequently had to battle rain and strong winds while moving from shop to shop. Consequently, Porirua’s retailers were losing out to covered shopping malls.
To address these problems, the Porirua City Council sought the assistance of a notable Wellington architectural firm. One of the key features of their proposal to the Council was a ‘covered street’ – a 328-yard stretch of white tensile membrane fabric canopies. The council loved the concept and gave approval for construction.
THE SOLUTION – A UNIFYING CONTINUUM OF WHITE TENSILE MEMBRANE CANOPIES
Structurflex was chosen to design, fabricate, and install the canopy structure, which is one of the largest of its kind in New Zealand. Not only did our design have to stay true to the architect’s vision, it also had to meet exacting engineering requirements – Porirua is on a fault line and regularly experiences seismic events.
The resulting continuum of canopies creates a light-filled, open-air feeling during the day; at night the shapes are softly illuminated, which gives the town center a welcome touch of glamor. Since installation, the center of Porirua has become a buzzing shopping hub and a vibrant showcase of local artwork.
PVC TENSILE STRUCTURE
COMPLETED IN 1995
Wellington, New Zealand
8,100M2 / 87,187FT2
PVC - SEAMAN 8028 TEDLAR
ARCHITECT Architecture Workshop / Porirua City Council
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