O My Fabric Structures

Happy New Year!

The FabricArchitect begins the year with the letter “O”.

OMG that’s me in front of Bucky Fuller’s Geodesic Dome in Montreal. Great structure. Good Times.

I thought I would use this letter to show some great images.

Don’t use this word much but most Designers and Architects refer to an oculus as a large opening to the sky, like a skylight. The Pantheon always comes to mind.

In the world of Fabric Structures, it is more like a “bale ring” which is a compression ring around a mast used to lift and tension a membrane. Circus tents are often found with them. The opening can also be installed anywhere on the membrane as long as there is a cable loop or some kind of component keeping the membrane from tearing.

Orange, red, green, blue. It doesn’t matter what color but “what color is available?” is a common question asked in fabric structure discussions. If you are looking for shade only and working with small scales, making structures using colorful fabrics is a great solution and there are plenty of colors and options available.

As projects get bigger and size and span get longer, fewer colors are available. Especially for waterproof membranes (PVC, PTFE, Silicon, etc.), color is available in minimum runs only.

A bigger issue  is that one’s pigment (skin color) will show the color of the membrane which may or may not be flattering (i.e. you look green under a green tent, yellow under a yellow tent, and yes, orange under an orange tent). I often recommend the use of white fabric and tell my clients to invest in lighting to change the membrane to any color.

Orlando is one of my favorite places to go because you can get a look at some nice fabric structures there in all shapes and sizes.

If you arrive by plane, the airport has some nice structures which cover the arrival and departure areas. Circ de Soleil has their signature structure there and there are plenty of interesting membrane structures at retail shops and at the Disney theme parks and hotels.
Next is “P”.


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