Product Launch Tensilation Grimshaw & MDT-tex

A successful collaboration between architects and tensile designers reached its nal stage last week at Frankfurt’s Light + Building festival and trade fair, where MDT- Tex launched the nal Tensilation Type EV canopy system. Grimshaw has been working with MDT-Tex to develop a product that offers both the exibility that comes with modular canopies and the engineering advantages of a uni ed structure.

The resulting design created a dramatic display at Light + Build, and delighted design-savvy spectators, while situated in the courtyard of the grand Palais Thurn & Taxis in the heart of Frankfurt. Projections by pho- tographer and light artist, Laurenz Theinert, brought the canopies to life.

Grimshaw Associate, Jorrin ten Have said, “Grimshaw and MDT-tex have been design- ing, testing, prototyping and enhancing the Tensilation canopy system for the past 12 months and it was great to see the nal product showcased in a public celebration of design and creativity.”

While design is a key feature, ensuring the robustness of the overall frame and materials was an important part of the process and nal product. Each canopy unit is structurally connected to its neighbours, creating a unied form strengthened by its components. Drainage takes place via a series of central supporting columns and each canopy piece is connected with a watertight capping to produce a weather-protective system.

Standing at a height of nearly 4 m, each canopy unit is under 30 kg making Tensila- tion one the lightest structures in its class. Through innovative tensile design, and light-weight fabrics and cables, the product requires no special lifting equipment and only three people to erect.

Tensilation’s overall form is comprised of tessellating diamond and square-shaped canopies that t together in variety of congurations, while creating an elegant overall impression. The exibility in its shape means the canopy system can be used independently, or annexed to buildings or marquees to deal quickly with changes in crowd size, seamlessly connecting xed and temporary spaces. Its vaulted form provides an expressive structure designed for events and pop-up spaces as demonstrated at Light +Building.

Speaking of the partnership with Grimshaw, Enlai Hooi, Creative Director at MDT-tex, said, “We have never had such a productive and intense collaboration as with Grimshaw Architects. Every part of the product has been created with equal input and enthu- siasm from both sides, and it has been a fantastic experience.”
Frankfurt am Main

Landscape, Installations