New technology in digital building, particularly Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems, are changing the way that we design and build wooden structures. Their high level of precision allows us to design perfect assembles--without screws or visible metalwork--resulting in structures that are durable, easy-to-build, and extremely well-organized. We spoke with the experts at Timber to better understand the process of building a wooden structure and to compile a list of key tips in designing one.
Tensile Structures: The Latest Architecture and News
Capable of transforming a facade or shaping a sculptural roof form, tensile structures test the limits of our imagination (and understanding of geometry). This week’s photo set features structures that rely on cables, anchors, posts and membranes to create expansive, dramatic spans of open space bathed in natural light. Stark shadows and fair curves make tensile structures particularly photogenic, as captured in this set of images from Christopher Frederick Jones, Marie-Françoise Plissart, Yoshihiro Koitani and more.
Historically inspired by some of the first man-made shelters—such as the black tents first developed using camel leather by the nomads of the Sahara Desert, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, as well as the structures used by Native American tribes—tensile structures offer a range of positive benefits compared to other structural models.
Tensile structure is the term usually used to refer to the construction of roofs using a membrane held in place on steel cables. Their main characteristics are the way in which they work under stress tensile, their ease of pre-fabrication, their ability to cover large spans, and their malleability. This structural system calls for a small amount of material thanks to the use of thin canvases, which when stretched using steel cables, create surfaces capable of overcoming the forces imposed upon them.