Specialty Fabrics Review January 2021 - 48

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enclose the whole area with retractable
curtains and a swing door at each end
for quick and easy access in and out of
the canopy, " says Cummins. And the
client wasn't the only one impressed
with the results. This project won the
Tension Structures and Canopies (less
than 50 square meters) category in the
2020 Awards for Excellence from the
Outdoor Fabric Products Association
of New Zealand (OFPANZ).

England: Space for growth
Cambridge Design Partnership Ltd.
in Toft, a village on the outskirts

 Streetspace, a specialist in providing covered space in Kent,

England, designed and built this tensile membrane canopy,
creating an atrium area in the center of shipping containers being
used to expand a company's office space. Photo: Streetspace.

of Cambridge, England, needed to
accommodate the company's growth,
but with limited space, it decided to
do something innovative to handle
its medium-term (about three years)
needs-it would convert 10 shipping
containers to provide meeting rooms,
video-conferencing booths, kitchen
facilities and laboratory space.
The company turned to
Streetspace, a Kent, England-based
specialist in providing covered space,
to design and build a tricky part of the
project-a tensile membrane canopy,
allowing high light transmission, that
would be used to create an atrium
area in the center of the containers.
" A big challenge was the complexity
of the design, " says William Deacon,
Streetspace project consultant.
" Interfacing with the shipping
containers required very careful
detailing to incorporate tensile gable
end panels, tensile roof membrane
and aluminum curtain walling. This
also made the fabrication of the steel
framework a complex job with some
very large assemblies, on which our
fabricators did a great job. "
Plus, says Deacon, Streetspace had
not previously done a project involving
attaching fabric to shipping containers.
The company found that containers are
well worth consideration as a base for
structures in temporary situations.
" Their weight and rigidity are
very useful from a structural point of
view, " he says. " The result is a lighter
framework as they contribute more
than a conventional combination of
columns and foundations.
" We also haven't done many
enclosed tensile structures over the
years, but it is something we are
seeing an increase in, " Deacon adds.
Jeff Moravec is a freelance writer based
in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

48 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / January 2021

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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2021

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