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Unique Applications: Using Tensioned Fabric to Transform Skylights into Art

By August 2, 2018 No Comments

Using Tensioned Fabric to Transform Skylights into ArtAcross the globe, architects are finding creative applications for using tensioned fabric to combine artistic and functional design.  While tensioned fabric architecture has become widely used for increasing a building’s energy efficiency, the benefits certainly don’t end there.  When looking to transform the atmosphere of a room into a truly unique experience, the answer may be overhead.

Tensioned fabric architecture, including tensioned structures and tensile facades, empower architects to play with natural light, artificial light, and iconic forms when creating new constructions or renovating outdated buildings, especially when skylights or large expanses of windows exist.

Tensioned Fabric Skylights for the Terasaki Research Institute

In a recent project, the team at Eide Industries worked closely with architects on the new facility for the Terasaki Research Institute, which featured large skylights in the main lounge areas.  We manufactured and installed two PTFE membrane skylights to address goals relating to ambiance and energy efficiency.

Using two layers of Teflon® coated fiberglass membrane surrounding a plexiglass dome, each skylights was designed to produce naturally diffused light and reduce some of the solar heat gain issues commonly associated with overhead windows.  For the top layer, SHEERFILL® V provided unsurpassed fire safety, low maintenance, and high light transmission.  For the bottom layer, SHEERFILL Fabrasorb® IA added its key characteristics of noise reduction, non-combustibility, and higher light transmission than similar products.  The combination produced an overall light transmission of 5%.

The iconic nature of the tensioned fabric skylights was taken to the next level by incorporating a series of RGB programmable lights that created a magnificent display in the evening hours.

Learn more about the Terasaki Research Institute Skylight Project.

Tensioned Fabric Facades for Large Expanses of Windows

Using Tensioned Fabric to Transform Skylights into ArtFor glass-covered atriums, lobbies with ribbon windows, or commercial buildings with window walls, tensioned fabric architecture can add depth and dimension to the exterior design while protecting the view from the interior of the space.

Innovative materials and new trends in fabric architecture have opened up a world of opportunity by incorporating 3-dimensional shapes and textured forms into otherwise traditional constructions.  Paired with LED lighting, fabric structures and facades can enhance the interior and exterior personality of the building both during the day and long after the sun goes down.  Tensioned fabric architecture provides endless opportunities for blending structurally-sound, functional art into your next design project.

Is Tensioned Fabric Architecture Right for Your Project?

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.