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Fabric: The Latest Architecture and News

Fabrics in Interiors: Creative Possibilities as Architectural Elements

Textile forms of habitation are far from new; in fact, humans have been using fabric to create shelter for thousands of years, becoming an archetypal form of building. Today, contemporary architecture has rediscovered the principle of the tent and taken its development further, implementing new technologies to generate more advanced and durable fabrics which allow larger areas to be spanned. Becoming a highly specialized sector within the construction industry, multiple textile forms have become common in a wide range of architectural applications – not just for temporary structures, but also for permanent buildings. Apart from their use in facades, these can be utilized in interiors to create highly functional spaces with unique sensory experiences.

Shade Structures for Outdoor Spaces: 6 Tips to Incorporate Into Your Next Project

In any successful architectural project, it is essential to provide users with a comfortable outdoor space. At any time of the year, modular shade structures can create spaces that protect from wind, dust, sun, rain, snow, and noise in a light, flexible and aesthetically pleasing way.

With this in mind, what should we look for when choosing shade structures for outdoor spaces? Below, we've provided you with Superior Recreational Products's top recommendations.

Superior Shade at Seabrook Island. Image Courtesy of Superior Recreational ProductsSuperior Shade at University of West Georgia. Image Courtesy of Superior Recreational ProductsCity of Cumming, Recreation & Parks Department. Image Courtesy of Superior Recreational ProductsMilwaukee County Zoo. Image Courtesy of Superior Recreational Products+ 33

5800 Individual Bamboo Poles Stand Tall as a Lightweight Transportable Theater

Studio Akkerhuis' bamboo design for a mobile theater proposal off the Netherlands coast addresses the characteristics of the material in the construction of light, resistant, accessible and transportable structures.

The project, a compact space similar to a small amphitheater, allows reuse with different configurations in various places with its joints made up of ropes and screws.

© Studio Akkerhuis© Studio Akkerhuis© Studio Akkerhuis© Studio Akkerhuis+ 25

Humanity and Art Entwined - How NADAAA's Exhibit Became Blankets for Syrian Refugees

Jordanian artist Raya Kassisieh, with the support of American firm NADAAA, has repurposed her exhibit from the Amman Design Week in Jordan to create blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families. The Entrelac exhibit, created by Kassisieh and NADAAA, consists of 300kg of hand-knit, un-dyed wool which was later cut and stitched to create blankets for those fleeing the Syrian Civil War, now approaching its sixth year.

The exhibit was displayed at the Amman Design Festival in September 2016. Image © Roland HalbeThe exhibit was stitched into blankets to aid Syrian refugees. Image Courtesy of Amman Design WeekThe exhibit was stitched into blankets to aid Syrian refugees. Image Courtesy of Amman Design WeekThe exhibit is made of hand-knit, un-dyed wool. Image Courtesy of Amman Design Week+ 11

A Roof for Verona’s Roman Amphitheater – Competition Winners Announced

The results of a competition to propose an openable roof over the Arena di Verona, Italy have been announced. Three winners were chosen out of eighty-seven proposals to cover the famous amphitheater, a defining symbol of the city of Verona. The competition was announced in March 2016 in order to protect the Roman monument from the elements and to ensure that it continues to provide quality entertainment to spectators two thousand years after its construction.

Winning proposal by GMP. Image Courtesy of City of Verona Press OfficeWinning proposal by GMP. Image Courtesy of City of Verona Press OfficeSecond place proposal by Vincenzo Latina. Image Courtesy of City of Verona Press OfficeThird place proposal by Roberto Ventura. Image Courtesy of City of Verona Press Office+ 19

Autodesk's Generative Design Pavilion Plays with Properties and Fabrication Processes in Stone and Fabric

At Autodesk's 2016 conference in Las Vegas, a team from Autodesk's BUILD Space led by principal research engineer Andrew Payne collaborated with manufacturer Quarra Stone, engineers Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, and University of Michigan assistant professor Sean Ahlquist to unveil its new Generative Design Pavilion. The project is an exploration of materiality, with stalagmite stone forms that rise up from geometric floor panels to meet fabric that stretches down from a canopy above. The junction of textile and stone aims to emphasize the distinct behaviors of the two materials.

Courtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra Stone+ 20

Elisa Strozyk Turns Wood Into Fabric

When you think of original designs, you know that you're talking about something unique and special. An innovative design that can change our perception and visual culture: that is exactly what the German designer Elisa Strozyk does with Wooden Textiles, a product line that mixes wood with fabric.

The designer shows us that innovation remains a fundamental part of design. She imbues wood with living properties and turns it to a flexible fabric with unpredictable movements, changing its color and texture. It’s an astonishing use of this traditional material to create new forms and experiences. 


Henning Larsen Designs Sail-Inspired Denmark Pavilion for the 2016 Summer Olympics

Henning Larsen has been selected to design a pavilion for Denmark for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Opening on Ipanema Beach from August 4-21, 2016, the pavilion – named “The Heart of Denmark” – will feature a tent structure that utilizes building techniques appropriated from sailboat construction. Inspired by Denmark’s maritime history, Danish architecture, the landscape of Rio de Janeiro and the buildings of Oscar Niemeyer, the pavilion will marry aesthetic iconography of both Denmark and Brazil.

This Intricate Chair is Made Entirely from Fabric

Fabric is viewed as a material which is flat and two-dimensional and thus, until recent times, it has been used in architecture as a surface sheet. However the material has not been fully exploited.

Developed by four Masters students from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, FaBrick is a prototype for creating sturdy structures out of textile-based materials. So far consisting of a stool made from a fabric impregnated with cement and a chair made of a felt composite, the project aims to develop a "technique of designing fabric to become the new brick, the new concrete in the invention of architecture."

Architects Team Up with Khmer Women to Build a Community Centre with Fabric and Concrete

Using an innovative method of casting concrete in lightweight fabric molds, the architects of Orkidstudio -- along with StructureMode -- teamed up with a group of Khmer women in Sihanoukville, Cambodia to rebuild a community centre in the city’s urban heart.

The construction technique was developed and tested by engineers from StructureMode using a combination of physical testing and computer analysis software, Oasys GSA Suite, to predict the stretch of a particular fabric when concrete is poured inside. Through three-dimensional sketches the seamstresses and building team could understand the construction sequence of the form, completing the entire project in just eight weeks.

Courtesy of OrkidstudioCourtesy of Orkidstudio© Lindsay Perth© Lindsay Perth+ 39

SDA + Volvo Collaborate to Create Portable Car-Charging Pavilion

After months of design refinement and engineering, Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), winners of the "Switch to Pure Volvo" architecture competition, have launched a free-standing mobile pavilion capable of harnessing solar energy to power the new Volvo V60, the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid car. The 'Pure Tension' Pavilion was birthed by SDA's extensive research on dynamic mesh relaxation, utilizing bendable, lightweight aluminum structures with flexible fabrics that can be stored in the trunk of the car and easily mounted within one hour, similar to a tent.

Sum of Days at The MoMA / Carlito Carvalhosa

Photograph by Jeffrey Gray Brandsted / © Carlito Carvalhosa
Photograph by Jeffrey Gray Brandsted / © Carlito Carvalhosa

The space of sound created by Carlito Carvalhosa’s Sum of Days on exhibit at MoMA until November 14, 2011 is a sublime environment of billowing white fabric and the white noise of the atrium reflected upon itself. The psuedo-boundaries established by the translucent material that hang from the ceiling create a confined space of light and ambient sound – fleeting and ephemeral. Upon entering the exhibit, you pass an array of speakers affixed to the wall. They are emitting a low hum – the sound of voices and echoes that are distant, yet recognizable. It is unclear at first from where these sounds are originating, but behind the fabric bodies are drifting in and out of view. The curtains, which are constantly swaying, direct you in an ellipse to the center of the space where a single microphone hangs, picking up the noise within the exhibit and sending them to the dozens of speakers that hang at intervals inside the curtains, along the walls of the exhibit, and up through the galleries at the mezzanine levels that overlook the atrium.

Green Void / LAVA

Architects: LAVA – Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser and Alexander Rieck Location: Sydney, Australia Project year: 2008 Project Team: Chris Bosse, Tobias Wallisser, Alexander Rieck Collaborators: Jarrod Lamshed, Esan Rahmani, Kim Ngoc Nguyen, Anh Dao Trinh, Erik Escalante Mendoza, Pascal Tures, Mi Jin Chun, Andrea Dorici Materials: Specially treated high-tech Nylon and light Area: 300 sqm Volume: 3,000 sqm Fabrication and installation: Mak Max Photographs: LAVA

Green Void / LAVAGreen Void / LAVAGreen Void / LAVAGreen Void / LAVA+ 26