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.
Wellington, New Zealand
Tensile Membrane Structure
Type 1b - PES Waterproof Membrane
8,100M2 / 87,187FT2
Porirua City Council
Creating an enticing shopping environment in Porirua
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 […]