Sails - end of the rainbow
Central patio of the School of Architecture, Madrid (ETSA-UPM)
Year of construction
Function of building
Mediterranean - mild winters, dry hot summers
Number of layers
Type of application of the membrane
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Sun protection
After eight consecutive years, the sequence of “sails” under the skylight of the central patio of the School of Architecture, Madrid (ETSA-UPM) has been finished. This has completed a teaching work, which had already been announced in TensiNews, in the numbers 19 (09/2010) and 25 (09/2013).
The “sails” have been designed and executed as part of a practical workshop in the Seminar on Textile Architecture, directed by professors Juan Monjo-Carrió and Javier Tejera Parra, with the direct participation of the students of each year and the sponsorship of DCTA·UPM, Serge Ferrari and BAT SPAIN.
The main objective of this work is all the students to explore and understand the basis of design, detailing, fabrication and erection of these “sails”, and to understand and solve the problems that may appear in the process of a tensile roof project.
In order to contribute with some colour to the patio, the sequence of the rainbow has been followed, starting with a “sail” in white followed by the Soltis 86 range of colours.
Every year, a “sail” has been designed with different shapes, using anticlastic surfaces, which allows the students to play and verify the great variety of "organic" shapes that can be obtained in textile architecture.
The students have participated in the design of the “sail” and its formfinding with MPanel. Then, they have carried out the cutting of patterns, manually, to have a better understanding of the necessary curvature of the edges of each one in order to obtain the geometrical anticlasticity. During the course, several built projects are visited, to show the students the real execution of this kind of architecture. A specialized workshop is one of the visits, in which the sail is welded.
Finally, the students have helped to erect it in its place, checking the need for prestress during its hoisting, to ensure the proper geometry.
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure
Convertible or mobile