Sun - protection system in Abu Dhabi
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United arab emirates
Name of the client/building owner
Al Nasr Irrigation & Contracting.Co.LLC Abu Dhabi in the name of Sheikh Sulthan
- Function of building
Degree of enclosure
Arid - dry and hot all year
Type of application of the membrane
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Sun protection
Tent construction has always been deeply embedded in the Arabian mentality. Therefore it is no great surprise that in particular textile projects in Arabic-speaking countries such as the King-Faisal-Stadium in Riad, have set important milestones in the development of modern membrane structures.
The client was none other than Sheikh Suthan, a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family, who gave the task of completing various membrane constructions for his private residential grounds. The structures were developed by büro für leichtbau. A total of 6 single-point funnel umbrellas for the swimming pool installation and 3 membrane sails for the adjacent private beach were assembled in May 2007 – but not only as protection against the intense sun, as the reader may think. Above all they are designed as optical highlights to enhance the entire pool and beach area.
The umbrella constructions are mobile and have various heights from 4.60 to 7.40m and differing diameters, ranging from 8.10 to 12.60m. As some of the umbrella surfaces overlap, they are opened and closed fully automatically in sequence in order to avert possible collisions.
The 3 membrane sails for the beach were arranged around a central mast as a so-called "tri-sail" structure and anchored at the sides. They roof in a total of 320m2.
Just as the location itself – the palace and the entire grounds of the residence –, the materials used for the membrane structures are also only the "crème de la crème":
All steel and rope constructions are made using stainless steel with a three-layer white coating. The membranes are made of PTFE tissue, specially created for this task. The advantages of this high-quality material:
§ Absolute buckling resistance (important for the folding process)
§ Extreme UV and weather resistance
§ Not prone to soiling
All umbrella membrane surfaces were sewn using 100% PTFE thread and not tacked. By using various material layers at the bottom of the membrane and at the pinnacles, the fabrication accentuated the design, which is still further underlined by the use of green PTFE ties. The green colour of the ties harmonises with the turquoise blue tone of the pool and sea water. Further visual refinement was provided on the umbrella stands with ceramics, some of which were decorated with gold-plated tips. The support pedestals were also enhanced with ceramic elements.
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure