SOM in the Press

An Architect’s Guide To: Tensile Fabrics

Denver Union Station. Photo © Magda Biernat

Source: Architizer

Tensile fabric structures have existed for a very long time in the form of simple tent-like shelters; together, guy ropes and tent poles provide pre-tension to a fabric, allowing the greater structure to withstand the loads of wind, rain and snow.


Grounded in these advancements, today’s architects are harnessing tensile fabric structures in the form of sweeping roofs, dramatic canopies and dismountable and relocatable pavilions. As designers and architects experiment with the creative boundaries of these forms, tensile fabric structures continue to take on shocking curved, spiky and round profiles, as well as new and unthinkable combinations of these shapes.

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