Membrane structures have served humanity since prehistoric times. One of the main life goals for human beings is survival. There is a constant search for protection from aggressive environmental conditions.

In the beginning, there were tent-like structures made of animal’s leather. With the development of human civilization and the need to constantly relocate, the human brain was challenged to invent new ways to protect themselves. Additional elements were combined with leather, to create the first composite materials, proving extremely practical and functional.

Modern membranes have only improved on these qualities, now on different scales: from small rental tents and shade sails ranging up to stadiums and factory plants, covering thousands of people. Technological advances in material production, design, and engineering, combined with human creativity, have erased most limitations for various types of projects and solutions. Membrane structures prove unlimited, multifunctional, versatile, and diverse.

Origins

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Important Projects

Vladimir Shukhov /  All-Russia Exhibition fair rotunda / 1895

waler bird / air-supported pool enclosure in winter / 1957

Frei Otto / Dance Pavilion at the Federal Garden Exhibition / 1957

Barry Patten / SIDNEY MYE Music Bowl / 1958

 frei otto / munich olympic stadium / 1972

1981 / various / The Haj Terminal

1994 / various / denver airport tensile roof

1999 /  Richard Rogers  / millennium dome

2000 / NICHOLAS GRIMSHAW / eden project

2007 / various / Beijing National Aquatics Center

 
 

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Applications

 
 
  1.    Unique structure

  2.    Intergated

  3.    Facade

  4.    Interior

  5.    Combining

  6.    Container

 
 
  • Membrane structures are extremely flexible in terms of shape, solutions, realisations and maintenance. 

  • Membrane structures are tensile surface structures as fabrics do not have any capacity to receive compression forces, only tension ( in case of compression material has wrinkles and deforms easily under smaller loads ). To work properly a shape should be curved  to achieve desired form. The typical curvature type is a double curvature when there are two different directions of curvature at one point of a surface. 

  • Membranes are lightweight. This means that minor material is required to cover larger span. It is easily achievable a span of 200-300 meters with an inflatable dome. Also, various combinations of cables and cable nets are possible to have a large span while clear space.

  • Membranes are easy to install. You need much! less time to cover 1000 m² with a fabric in tension than a concrete. Obviously, to achieve that a design should be well executed that prevents any kind of failure while confection and installation process. 

  • Membranes are multifunctional. One of its main parameters is fabric. There are special fabrics that have their specific qualities and serve for durability, light, heat transmission etc. More on materials you can find HERE. 

  • Mem.Brane is responsive. Have any other specific question ? Check out out F.A.Q. page or CONTACT US

Flexible

" Flexible buildings are intended to respond to changing situations in their use, operation or location. This is architecture that adapts, rather than stagnates; transforms, rather than restricts; is motive, rather than static; interacts with its users, rather than inhibits. It is a design form that is, by its very essence, cross-disciplinary and multi-functional; consequently it is frequently innovative and expressive of contemporary design issues. However, flexible architecture is not a phenomenon, but  a form of building that has evolved alongside human beings' developing creative skills. Where functional problems have necessitated a responsive, built environment, flexible architecture has formed at least a part of a solution." 

 from the book  "Flexible. Architecture that responds to change" by Robert Kronenburg

 
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Basic Shapes

Four different shapes predominate every idea: hypar, cone, vault, and inflated (from left to right).

 

Shape Changes

 

The endless search for the perfect shape unleashes one’s creativity and removes all limitations. Alongside deformations, one can also create shape duplications and repetitions.

Repetitions

Any shape can be repeated, whether linear or radial, symmetric or asymmetric; creating beautiful solutions. Simple can be better than complicated, as a simple but nice design is more readable, clear, and practical.  

 
 
 

Have any question?  Don't hesitate to ask!