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Tue, Mar 13 2018 - 04:41 AM

History of Tensile structures and their components

 The UAE region is probably the hottest places on this planet and a place whose inhabitants require significant protection from the hot summer Sun almost through the entire year. In Dubai, the afternoon temperatures can go up to a high of over 55-degree centigrade where the car tops get so hot you can literally fry an egg over them.

Tensile structures are the most common sights in Dubai since everyone wants their lawns and open areas and even car parking in Dubai to be shaded, installation of a tensile structure has taken over the mainstream within the region. Being a car parking Shade Company in Dubai, we have been getting a lot of queries for new installations for the preceding months along with the question of where tensile structures started from. So we decided to come up with a blog that is going to bring our target audience’s questions with ease.

Tensile structures originated from Russia when a native engineer name Vladimir Shukhov calculated the stress and deformations of tensile structures, their shells, and membranes on a vast area of about 27,000 sqm. The results were exhibited at the Nizhny Novgorod Fair in 1886. Years passed by and again the tensile structures came in to picture when two German architects name Otto and Berger used tensile structures in the construction of the West German Pavilion at the Expo 67 that was held at Montreal and on the roof of the Olympic Stadium of 1972 in Munich.

 Things took prominent shape for tensile structures after that and the two popular tensile structures that hold monumental position are the London Millennium Dome and the Hajj Terminal at Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

There are multiple things that are kept into consideration when installing a tensile structure. Some of the important elements could be:


·         Geometric constraints

·         The force of air in the region

·         Light transmission requirements if any

·         Availability of anchorage points to support the structure

·         Level of rain in the area

·         Fabric that is to be used and so on…


All the tensile structures around the globe are categorized into two broad kinds. Both Otto and Berger founded these shapes while they were researching on the natural elements and forms of a tensile structure. For these shapes specifically, they took inspiration from the natural bubbles that come from a soap. They are:

·         Anticlastic shape

·         Synclastic shape

A tensile structure is incomplete without the use of a fabric in it. The fabric completes it by providing it a shape along with the iconic protection against summer sun or harsh climate, for which the tensile structures are known for, especially in the arid region of Dubai. The fabric that is used is usually polyester fabric or the fiberglass fabric. Both of this fabric were chosen based on their capability to protect the beneath area from the said sources and their durability quotient that makes them the winning choice of a car parking shade owner in Dubai. Normally what is kept under consideration while installing a tensile structure for your car shade in Dubai is its ability to let the air ass and its transparency that makes the area beneath lit and bright.

 So this was a brief history of how tensile structures evolved to the mainstream arena in Dubai that they are today. For any more details regarding the creation and installation of a tensile structure in Dubai, feel free to contact us ASAP!


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