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How Textile Architecture has revolutionized
the World of Architecture across the globe

Textile forms of habitation have a long history going back to palaeolithic times and
represent an archetypal form of building which has endured to the present day. Textiles
are light, easy to convert or dismantle, and they provide protection against wind, ultraviolet rays and rain. Modern architecture has rediscovered the principle of the tent as an
architectural form and taken its development further not just for temporary structures
but also for permanent buildings. Advanced and durable fabrics enable large areas to be
spanned, which has turned their use into a highly specialised sector within the
construction industry.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

by Zaha Hadid Architects
A former gunpowder store of severe Palladianism transformed for public use and adorned
with pavilion of curvy splendor. Distinction rather than
architectural assimilation at Zaha Hadid Architects'
Serpentine Sackler Gallery, opening up the existing listed
building towards the surrounding lushness of Kensington
Its airy atmosphere is
partly due to the choice of
construction method and
materials, applying a tensile
structure of glass-fiber
woven textile. The
membrane is part of the loadbearing structure and
rests on five interior columns and a perimeter ring
beam, the latter touching the ground at three
points. Like sliced-open trunks, the columns also
function as interior light wells. A curved frameless
glass wall connects ground, edge beam, and fabric
roof. Columns and the glass wall contribute to
making the interior appear bright and accessible. A
cellular Voronoi pattern is used for the layout of tables, banquets, and chairs.

The DAR LUZ project by Lars Mee-Olsohn

and Ali Heshmati
The DAR LUZ project by Lars Mee-Olsohn
and Ali Heshmati was one of the installations
at a recent light art walkway in Eindhoven,
where the textile skin operated as a projection
screen for staging a dynamically controlled
light show. A number of sensors detected the
movements of visitors and transmitted these to
the LED spotlights which responded with
individually changing color sequences and
intensity of lighting effects.

Urban Umbrella by Young-Hwan Choi - The

Urban Shed
A tensile structure of glass-fiber woven textile.

'Tubaloon' by
'Tubaloon' is the name given by the architects Snohetta to the 20 m x 40 m pneumatic
membrane sculpture which was created for the Kongsberg jazz festival in Norway. The
combination of a stretched membrane with a pneumatic design is the special feature of the
Tubaloon: stretched membrane
structures have exterior structural

parts but in the case of the Tubaloon the static structure is located like a skeleton inside the
pneumatic shell. This gives the structure a body-like, organic look. Every year the Tubaloon is
set up and dismantled once more and so a white, PVC-coated PVC-PES polyester membrane
by Ferrari was selected because of its hardwearing properties and its suitability for projection
and acoustic purposes.

The Chinese National Aquatic Center,

aka Watercube

Energy efficient
and eco-friendly buildings like these stadiums are surely becoming the norm. Additionally,
these structures haven taken cues from nature and bio mimicry. The Watercubes design is
based on water bubbles in foam, and while it may seem random, this structure is derived
from principles of geometry and crystaline systems. The buildings structure is framed in
steel, while the bubbles themselves are made from ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene)
0.2 mm
thick. The
lets in
more light
and heat
glass does,
keeps all 5
pools warmer, thus reducing energy costs
by 30%.
Rainwater from the roof is collected and
with efficient filtration and backwash systems,
and an incredible LED lighting system turns the Watercube into a beautiful kaleidoscope at

HABITAT 2020: Future Smart Living

The Habitat 2020 building is envisioned for China, and radically alters our perception of a
structures surface. The exterior has been designed as a living skin, rather than a system of
inert materials used only for construction and protection. The skin behaves like a membrane
which serves as a connection between
the exterior
and interior of the habitat.
Alternatively, the skin may be
as the leaf surface having
several stomata, cellular openings
involved in
gaseous exchange and transpiration in
The surface would allow the entry of
light, air and
water into the housing. It would
automatically position itself according
to the
sunlight and let in light; thus electricity
for lighting
would not be needed during the day.
The air and
wind would be channeled into the
building and
filtered to provide clean air and natural air-conditioning. The active skin would be capable of
rain water harvesting where water would be purified, filtered, used and recycled. The skin
could even absorb moisture from the air. The waste produced would be converted into biogas

energy that could be put to diverse uses in

the habitat.

The Swiss pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai

A textile facade in the extended sense covered the Swiss pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai EXPO
a steel net made of galvanised wire strands with a diameter of four millimetres made by the
firm of Carl Stahl formed the 3,800 m2 and 15 m high facade, which was fitted with 11,000
cells made of sustainable polycarbonate that generated electricity by means of solar
The same steel netting by the name of X-TEND was also used for covering the aviary of the

Loro Parque in Tenerife. The rolls of steel netting can be manufactured to any required length
and the individual sections can also be joined crosswise to an unlimited extent without
detracting from the strength of the netting.

Tahari Showroom, New York

Cloth is the material from which the Elie Tahari fashion company designs exclusive creations
- and cloth is also the design element with which Gisela Strohmeyer has converted an
uninspiring room without any daylight into an elegant showroom.
For the presentation of the collection and for cupboards large, semi-oval openings were cut
into the swatches of material. A column at the center of the almost square room supports two
different types of fabric, one of them transparent and the other opaque. The backlit sections of
cloth are not sewn together but connected by a large number of hooks. As a result the
swatches of cloth are only attached to each other at specific points, which visually highlight
the elasticity of Lycra as a material and has the positive aspect that the sections of cloth can be
taken apart again. The installation is also fastened to the walls and ceiling by hooks, while on
the floor it is held in place by movable weights. When the textile elements are no longer
required they can be folded up and stored compactly in a cupboard. In addition the fabrics
are machine washable.

Architonic Concept Space at Imm cologne

For the Architonic Concept Space at imm cologne 2008 it wasn't a sub-tropical but an arctic
landscape which was created. The architects Lava designed umbrellas on which drifting ice
floes were projected. The amorphous aluminum umbrellas were covered with a transparent
membrane which was cut to size using CNC technology in cooperation with the Australian
firm of Global Membrane Designs.


Its structural characteristics are complemented by highly effective resistance to dirt and aging
resulting from Serge Ferrari's expertise in PVDF-based surface treatments.
Lightweight and durable, Pr contraint composite membranes are also 100% recyclable based
on the Serge Ferrari Texyloop process.
PVDF, Polyvinylidene fluoride, is a specialty plastic material in the fluoropolymer family; it
is used generally in applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to
solvents, acids, bases and heat and low smoke generation during a fire event. Compared to
other fluoropolymers, it has an easier melt process because of its relatively low melting point
of around 177 C.

The Cloud Auckland waterfront, New Zealand

The Cloud is a multipurpose infrastructure located in the historic Queens Wharf area of the
Auckland waterfront. An ultra-modern ephemeral building, which was built for the 2011
Rugby World Cup and
received the LSAA*
Design Award 2011. A
true economic and
cultural showcase
during the event, the
Cloud was designed to
be removable,
transportable and redeployable after the

As famous now as the Sky tower or the Waitemata Harbour bridge, the Cloud is characterised
by a pureness and aesthetic delicacy only possible through the lightness of Serge Ferrari
composite materials.
The 180 m long structure is covered by a Prcontraint 1002 Fluotop T2 flexible composite.
During the day, the composite membrane reflects heat and its translucence optimizes natural
light diffusion. At
night, the material
reveals the play and
movements of light,
transforming the
building into a
distinctive luminous
The buildings
southern end is lined
with Prcontraint 502
composite material, which conceals the reinforcement and steel frames and gives the final
touch to the cloud shape created by the roof.
Inside, Soltis 92 micro-aerated membrane clads the 500 m2 ceiling of the mezzanine reserved
for the media and VIPs during the Rugby World Cup. Flexible, light and robust, Soltis 92
allowed many HVAC technical components to be safely incorporated: the material conserved
all its strength and aesthetic qualities.
An additional advantage was its sound absorption performance characteristics, which
contributed to enhancing the structures acoustic environment.

The facade of a company building in Vienna

The facade of a company building in Vienna has been fitted with a total of 104 sails which on
the one hand protect the building from the sun and on the other act as architectural cladding
on the closed side of the building. The vertical sails were produced in hypar shape from the
Soltis 86 material made by Ferrari, also PVC-coated polyester.
The Soltis material is produced using pre
constraint technology. During
manufacturing both the warp and the weft
yarn is pre-stressed and then coated. This
guarantees a high level of surface stability
and is a precondition for ensuring adequate
wind resistance, which can only be
guaranteed if the sails neither expand nor
contract in response to changes in

temperature. Soltis is UV-resistant and is available not just with perforations of varying sizes
and the corresponding variable transmittance but also in a range of different colors.

Royal Artillery Barracks Olympics-2012.Woolwich, UK

Royal Artillery Barracks Olympics-2012 Woolwich, UK. Olympic Shooting Venue by Magma
Architecture - temporary building made with Serge Ferrari composite membranes.

Pavilion Germany EXPO Shanghai 2010 -Shanghai, China

Pavilion Germany EXPO Shanghai 2010 | Shanghai, China | Serge Ferrari composite membrane
building enveloppe | Architect: Schmidhuber + Kaindl (Munich).

Cardiff Bay Car Park

Cardiff Bay Car Park by Light Bureau Architects who chose
Serge Ferrari flexible composite membrane for this amazing

Playground Wellington New Zealand

Covered Playground Wellington New Zealand.

Mumbai Airport

Lekhwiya Sports Stadium, Doha Qatar

Waterpolo Arena Olympics 2012 London UK

Metro Station Santiago, Chile

London Aquatics Center Olympics 2012, London UK

Covered Bridge, Dazhou,


Yatch Marina, Turkmenistan

Shanghai Meteo Pavilion

Shanghai Space Pavilion

Tallinn, Estonia
Designed by Allianss Arhitektid, Tallinn, Estonia,
that wraps the building with colorful patterns and
designs inspired by traditional national womens
costumes from different parishes throughout the
country. As the pavilion was erected only for six
months, says Priit Hamer, architect and member of

the Estonian Expo design team, we used sections of printed textile put on very simple metal
shapes. The design for the enclosure of the pavilion is surprisingly simple: irregularly
shaped vertical panels formed from steel channels are fitted against a plain, box of a building
to make a faade somewhat like overlapping vertical siding. Bends in the vertical edges and
bulges outward from the faade add 3-D interest. Color and pattern are printed by dye
sublimation on the PVC-coated polyester Soltis 86 mesh fabric (Serge Ferrari) and stretched
taut over the frames and fastened simply with flathead screws. The mesh provides microventilation and allows outward visibility to visitors inside.

Ferrari Soltis 92 Shade Cloth

Soltis 92 composite screens bring together thermal and mechanical performances that
guarantee the efficiency, durability and good looks of your facilities :
Being real heat shields they contribute to improved energy performance in buildings.
a guarantee of optimal glare-free visibility on to the outside
resistance and dimensional stability, plus the Serge Ferrari Prcontraint exclusive patented
technology that gives a thin, lightweight product.
Soltis 92 offers a large choice of 50 colors to increase technical and aesthetic solutions:
to adapt to the aspect of the faade.
100 % recyclable using the patented process Texyloop

Offers the best Solar Protection - up to 97 percent protection.

Resists tearing without extra reinforcement - High tenacity polyester yarn
Will not sag - double resistance warp and weft resists sagging.

Long lasting and dirt resistant.

Has a more closed weave than Soltis 86.
Tested for harmful substances - OKO-Tex Standard 100.
5 Year guarantee
Certified ISO 9001
100 percent recyclable
o Protection Screens
o Interior Shades
o Exterior Screens
and Shades
o Awnings &
o Shade Sails
FABRIC: High Tenasity Polyester
FINISH: Vinyl, Flame Retardant CSFM Reg. F-06901
WIDTH: 69.7 in. (177cm)
WEIGHT: 11 oz. per sq. yard

A Real Heat Shield

Ferrari Soltis 86 textiles
have a micro-ventilation
system that regulates the
sun's heating effects.
When they are placed on
the outside of windows
they absorb and reflect
back up to 97% of the heat
contained in the sun's rays,
thereby eliminating the
greenhouse effect.
Such unveiled thermal
performance enable
reduced use of air-

conditioning in buildings. Ferrari Soltis 86 makes a strong contribution to reduced

energy expenditure, allowing better cost control of the building.

Soltis 92 screens protecting plants at the Gardens by the Bay

The conservatories feature astonishing specific characteristics:
Maintain the high light levels required by the plants within, while minimizing the
associated solar heat gain inevitable in Singapores tropical climate
Dynamic nature of the completed building, with shades opening and closing in response to
the changing solar environment
Distinct curved forms of the biomes generated from the geometry of a hyperbolic curve
Lightweight structure to minimize shadows cast onto the planting below