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Designing a Night City Scene: Lighting, Tensile Facades, and Iconic Structures

By August 17, 2018October 2nd, 2018No Comments

Designing a Night City SceneAs an architect, you’re not only concerned with the appearance of your new build or renovation project during the daytime hours, but also with its look and style after the sun goes down.  Adding to (or completely re-designing) a night city scene is an important element of your project.  With tensile membrane facades, you have the power to improve your building’s performance and create an iconic structure – during the day and night.

There are three core concepts to consider when using lighting and tensile facades to create a stunning night city scene with your next project.

Front Lighting to Illuminate Graphics

Tensile Fabric Facades for Hotels - Hilton HotelsIdeal for illuminating company branding or advertisements that are printed on the membrane, the most common lighting practice uses standard flood lights from either the ground or overhead fixtures to put the printed message or imagery front-and-center.  When choosing this option, the major design focus of the tensile facade becomes the graphic print on the membrane, as it’s visible during the day and highlighted at night.

Ideal applications for this lighting effect include retail malls, hotels, educational institutions, sports stadiums, and brand-specific commercial buildings.

Interior Light with a Translucent Filter

Tensile facades with LED lightingWith a tensile membrane facade covering the structure’s envelope, the interior light of the building can produce an artistic version of the quintessential night city scene.  Traditional, bare windows often generate a harsh exterior effect as florescent light pours down onto the street.  However, the translucent nature of the membrane allows diffused light to be visible while creating a softened, uniform look to the building – similar to the effect of a filter over a series of photographs.  The facade also provides the benefit of providing a delicate amount of privacy for those inside in comparison to the exposure of uncovered windows.

Your desired nighttime effect can be achieved by exploring different color or translucency options.  Additionally, to maximize the impact when the building is vacant, energy-efficient “night lights” can be incorporated for each perimeter room.

Ideal applications for this lighting effect include office buildings, hospitals, universities, and parking garages.

Artistic Lighting Designs for Unique Facade Forms

Using Tensioned Fabric to Transform Skylights into ArtWith the evolution of 3D designs and textured forms, architects and designers are continually experimenting with new shapes and creative applications for tensile membrane facades and other types of tensioned fabric structures.  The advances in LED lighting technology have taken this creativity to a new level.

As lighting designers and fabric architects increasingly partner on projects, their integrated designs are resulting in truly unique pieces of functional art.  When working with lighting experts, consider the varying impact of fixture placement – for example, shining down on each 3D element or directly behind the facade on the building’s envelope – and color.  The opportunities are endless.

Explore How Tensile Facades Can Bring Your Night City Scene to Life

In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects.  Our expertise with tensile facade systems and tension structures supports architects, designers, general contractors, and building owners in their efforts to bring custom tensile membrane projects to life.

Explore the options for your next project by calling 800-422-6827.