THE CHALLENGE – DESIGN FOR BOTH FUNCTION AND FORM
Highbrook is an up-and-coming business district that aims to be New Zealand’s best working environment. Its large open air plaza, known as The Crossing, is a focal point for the estate’s growing community. Structurflex was commissioned to design and install a visually-striking shade structure for The Crossing, to make it user-friendly in any weather. Structurflex’s creation is an advanced example of tensile membrane artistry. Every panel is unique and no two corner angles are the same. The bespoke steel manufacturing involved had to be 100% precise, to ensure the ETFE panels would fit with minimal stretch.
THE SOLUTION – ETFE, 3D MODELING AND CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH STEEL MANUFACTURER
ETFE is a transparent extruded film with a light-transmitting ability similar to glass, but with just 1% of the weight. As well as providing significant visual impact, ETFE allows design flexibility and light-transmitting qualities that can’t be matched by traditional building materials. Although ETFE membrane structures are lightweight, they can withstand extreme weather conditions. The Structurflex design team worked closely with the project’s architect to generate an accurate 3D engineering model. This made it possible to provide the steel manufacturer with precise instructions about angles and lengths. As a final check for accuracy, frames were tacked into place and measured before final welding.
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“OFPANZ Award for The Crossing at Higbrook Business Park”
We are pleased to have collaborated with KieranTimberlake and the outfit of a parking structure on the Rice University Campus. In their blog post, they describe the concepts they employed to create an iconic sculptural element. For more details see the KieranTimberlake blog post.The Increasing Importance of Durability
While tensile fabric has several distinct advantages over more traditional materials like glass, one of the most important may be its ability to withstand severe weather events. Our tensile structures and tensile facades in Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, Fort Worth, Waco, and Atlanta did not sustain any damage or require any repair despite enduring events ranging […]