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.
“Canopied corporate strolls,” Industrial Fabrics Association International
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