THE CHALLENGE – HEAT AND SUN PROTECTION THAT’S COMPATIBLE WITH AUTHENTIC ARCHITECTURE
Compared to other large cities in the United Arab Emirates, which are characterized by ultra-modern skyscrapers, Al Ain has maintained a more authentic Arabic look and feel. Known as the “Garden City of the Gulf”, Al Ain has been continuously inhabited for more than four thousand years and is considered central to the cultural heritage of the UAE.
The purpose-built VMF (vegetable, meat and fruit) market was designed to be visually sympathetic with Al Ain’s heritage. Central to the market’s success was a large outdoor area, which required protection from the ever-present Arab sun.
THE SOLUTION – TENSION MEMBRANE STRUCTURES THAT EMBRACE ARAB DESIGN VALUES
Structurflex developed three different styles of tensile membrane structures for Al Ain’s new market. All were designed to blend harmoniously with the classical theme of the adjoining masonry buildings.
Because tension membranes are translucent, the natural light level beneath the canopies is higher. Shoppers can easily see the produce they’re buying, but they’re at no risk of sunburn or overheating – coated-PES reflects heat and provides 100% UV protection. The light filtering provided by the canopies also makes the transition from harsh outdoor light to indoor environments easier on the eyes.
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