Shading in Urban Spaces
People love to be outside, even when the weather is not that great. Of course being rained on can dampen any occasion, but developments in flexible coverings for outdoor spaces are helping people get more enjoyment from being outside all year round. Natural shading can come from your surroundings off course from things like trees. If you live in an area that has a lot of nature and you are concerned as the trees are dying or need cutting down a Tree Surgeon Essex company could come and help.
To help the citizens of St Gallen, Switzerland, get more opportunities to wander between the shops and restaurants of their town centre, architects designed a covering for the main walkway. This tensile fabric structure is not only rainproof and retractable, it has become a dramatic visual focus for the area, adding a theatrical element to this popular meeting place.
The fabric membrane is attached to four parallel poles that can be folded and stored under a parking bridge at the northern end of the thoroughfare. In a matter of moments it can be extended to span more than five and a half thousand square feet. The translucent material diffuses the light, protects against wind and showers, and expands to fill its framework tautly. LED lighting was also incorporated into the design so the walkway would have colour and warmth in the evening.
The Only Way Is Up
In the UK, the trend for extending up, or developing the empty space above a property, is becoming more common, according to The Independent. The tensile fabric structure could be just the thing for a roof extension, being light and weather resistant – the St Gallen walkway cover was tested in a wind tunnel before it was erected. It could also be the way forward in getting more use out of that outdoor terrace.
The sculptor Anish Kapoor helped bring the use of fabric membranes into the public eye with his ground-breaking sculpture at the Tate Modern, described in this report from The Guardian. If considering extending an urban space at your home, it could be worthwhile thinking about a structure incorporating a fabric membrane.
While traditional forms of building come under fire for using too much energy or being inflexible, hardy, weatherproof membranes stretched over a frame have enormous potential. With imagination, they could transform outdoor spaces that are used occasionally, into areas used all year round.