Sustainable Mediterranean Construction

Sustainable Mediterranean Construction

FREI OTTO AND THE TENSILE STRUCTURES

Authors 

Sergio Pone

Keywords: 

Frei Otto, tensile structures, gridshells, conception of tensile structures, construction system

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Excerpt

To write a paper about tensile structures it is in fact to write about Frei Otto. And this text will reserve him a central role. Even though it is also possible to start a tale on these fascinating structures long before that the brilliant German architect had been involved with them.
Tensile structures can be defined as load-bearing structures in which most of the elements are not capable of compression and flexural strength. In other words, most of the elements do not have a definite shape of their own but assume what the tension stresses assign to them in mutual contrast with the other elements. This is why tensile structures could be defined as structures deriving from “active tension” in the same manner that timber post form gridshells (of which Otto himself was a sublime interpreter) can be defined as structures deriving from “active bending”.
Thus all the tents belonging to the ancient nomadic and military building traditions as all the “velarium” used to shade and protect parts of ordinary constructions (see for example the coverings of Roman amphitheatres) or even the Tibetan bridges and, at least in part, all types of suspension bridges can all be classified as tensile structures. Actually the modern tensile structures arouse when the three-dimensional complexity of ancient “velariums” and traditional tents shapehad met the almost completely two-dimensional geometric-structural rigor of suspension bridges. […]

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SMC Special Issue N.03 2019

SMC MAGAZINE SPECIAL ISSUE N. THREE/2019

WHOLE BOOK

001_COVER AND INDEX

009_ Introduzione
Paola De Joanna

PART I
TENSILE MEMBRANE TODAY

017_Membranes: a challenge for Environmental Sustainability
Luca Buoninconti

027_Architectural Membranes for improving the functional performance of buildings
Paulo Mendonça, Racquel Macieira

039_Educational Objectives from an Architectural Studio on Nature & Space Structures
Nikos P. Tsinikas, Dimitris Antoniou, George Dimopoulos, Dimitris Kontaxakis, Ioanna Symeonidou

049_A first step into Nonlinear Statics
Enrico Babilio, Luca Buoninconti

PART II
SUSTAINABILITY AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

059_Tensile architecture and sustainable approach
Dora Francese

079_Frei Otto and Tensile Structures
Sergio Pone

087_The healing colture
Michele Castaldo

091_In search of lightness. Past, present and future of membrane space structures
Giuseppe Vaccaro

PART III
APPLICATION ON A CASE STUDY EXPERIENCE

109_PROJECTS

116_LIST OF AUTHORS

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