If you are someone who is majoring in Architecture or learning to be one, in which case you are more than familiar with the words tension and compression. When describing about compression in architectural language, it simply means the construction of buildings where the mass of the building is pushing its weight downwards to the ground, brick against brick and board over board in a compressing manner. The complete opposite of compression is what is known as tension. The process of pulling and stretching materials related to construction is tension. In such form tensile structure uses the tension system than the compression style. Tension membrane, fabric, tension, lightweight tension architecture are few of the names that best describe this style of construction.
Going back in history
Taking a trip down the ancient history, the very first human structure which is the hut that they built to live in, is made of fabric made of animal skin, pulled tight around a bone frame. This fabric tension structure was used by many teepees in various cultures.
Around the passing centuries these tension structures are similarly used as commercial shade sails in circus tents and suspension bridges.
Mostly seen tensile structures
In today’s modern world, there are more than a handful of these incredibly creative structures. Whilst some are unique and rare there are a few that are known as common or frequently seen structures in different parts of the world. Some of these structures maybe symbolic to different countries with various in depth meaning held as its specialty. One of the most frequently seen common tension structures is the balloon model. This is when the interior air that circulates among the structure creates an upheld tension on material towards the roof. The next model which is known as the tent model is when various cables that are fixed to a firmly held column which pulls on to the material much similarity to an umbrella.
Various Uses of tensile architecture
Apart from building constructions, there are various reason that people can use this type of fabric architecture in their daily use. Roofing is one option that many modern homeowners are entering towards. Modern homes and commercial buildings that are constructed eco-friendly materials are currently evolving into tensile structures as their upgraded roofing and stepping out from what is said to be ordinary. Similarly this can also be used for outdoor pavilions, sporting arenas and even outdoor pavilions. These structures are fixed with poles, mass cables and suitable fabric that come in various specifications.