Butterfly Pavilion at the Floriade 2002
Floriade 2002, Floriadepark Haarlemmermeer
Year of construction
Function of building
Degree of enclosure
Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
Number of layers
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Rain protection
In April the Floriade 2002, a large horticultural exhibition, held every ten years, was opened. One of the exhibitors, Wageningen University and Research Center, invited Tentech BV to make a design for a butterfly-shaped pavilion and do the structural engineering.
The pavilion consists of two parts, the body and the wings. Each part is supported and stabilized separately. The body, twelve steel arches of increasing diameter, is about 40 meters long. The diameters vary between 1.5 and 12 meters. The twelfth arch is placed under a 45-degree angle, giving the butterfly a rounded head. The arches are covered with white PVC-coated polyester membrane.
The wings are two symmetrical lowpoint type membranes, supported by steel columns and cables. The total wingspan is about 60 meters. The highest point is at 8 meters. The two wings are connected by steel cables running through the butterfly?s body. The wings and body are not connected in order to minimize the steel arches? cross-section. In the lowpoints large butterfly openings are created to reduce stresses in the membrane but also to be able to drain off rainwater. Meshed membrane is used to create a certain transparency which is needed for the large garden located under the wings. The membrane is painted in a typical butterfly pattern.
The client wanted to resemble the shape of a butterfly as closely as possible. The use of textile membrane, which is flexible and lightweight and therefore easy to use in curved surfaces, made it possible to satisfy the client?s wishes.
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Covered surface (m2)
Form single element
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure
Marijke M. Mollaert