Tensile Fabric Structures

January 29th, 2019 1:49 pm

Tensile fabric is a highly versatile material that can be manipulated to create dramatic and bespoke tensile fabric structures and canopies.

Characterised by the tensioning of a fabric membrane, usually with wire or cable, tensile fabric structures deliver stylish and durable coverings for covering an outdoor space. All tensile fabric structures are built from the principles of three designs shapes, the cone, hypar and the barrel. Tensioning the fabric to the structure then provides the membrane with the critical structural support required to cope with wind lift and snow load.

Tensile structures can be designed and built from many fabrics including PVC coated polyester, PTFE coated glass cloth, shade cloth and mesh form. Depending on the fabric chosen, there is also the scope to explore a range of translucencies and colours.

Being both lightweight and flexible, tensile fabric structures are highly translucent and UV resistant with the capacity to span large distances, with wide column free areas –  a brilliant choice where large groups of the public gather.

Common uses include entrance canopies, fabric walkways, school canopies, outdoor classrooms, playground shade sails, event structures, stage canopies, stadium roofs, and bandstands to name but a few!

Bespoke fabric structures can be designed to fit any design or environment. For architects, a tensile fabric structure can create dramatic structural architectural form that deliver maximum impact such as our tensile canopy for the new Living Wetland Ampitheatre at Slimbridge WWT. But not all structures are eye catching showpieces. Often the primary requirement is to provide shelter from the elements in an effective and durable manner.

The fabric roof we designed, manufactured and installed for Arcola Theatre was to fulfill a very specific need, to allow their theatre to keep functioning through the COVID-19 restrictions. It is a highly functional, traditional conic fabric canopy designed to shelter the public from the elements in the new designed covered event space, Arcola Outside.

All our tensile structures are designed as bespoke pieces in close liaison with our clients, architects, and contractors. No project or brief is ever the same. In some cases, we work from very resolved tender documents and architect’s designs, yet in other cases, designs are resolved via a collaborative process in conjunction with our clients.

Whatever stage the project reaches us at, our team of highly experienced engineers and designers bring their decades of expertise to put forward the right ideas and materials that will create innovative and effective tensile fabric structures that deliver on quality design and function, every time.

All our structures are engineered to current British standards and designed and manufactured here in the UK. Installation is handled by our highly skilled team, who are used to working in all kinds of environments – with safety always paramount.

Every tensile structure we build comes warranties on the fabric and structure, as well as maintenance guidelines and the option to take out an ongoing maintenance contract for extra piece of mind.

Our expertise in delivering world class tensile fabric structures ensures we don’t just meet your expectations – we exceed them.

To see our tensile fabric structure projects in greater detail, see our projects section