Palacio Nacional de la Cultura
Year of construction
Year of dismantling
Year of replacement of membrane
Name of the client/building owner
Ministry of Culture, Guatemala
Function of building
Historical buildings & monuments
Degree of enclosure
Tropical - hot and wet all year
Number of layers
Type of application of the membrane
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Rain protection
- Sun protection
In 2004 a membrane cover was placed above 2 inner patios as rain cover, in 2010 however one of the roofs materials was torn due to poor design and the other one began to suffer both in material and structure. Even though a morphological box proposing a variety of new designs taking into consideration form, function, stress forces, weight, impact were presented, according to national conservation laws, removing the structure and putting into place a new design was prohibited.
Project: A new plan was put into place consisting of three main aspects:
• Conduct a topographic survey in order to analyze both general and specifics points of the existing structure such as general dimensions, diameters of primary and secondary arches, anchorages, etc.
• Make a structural analysis using a virtual wind tunnel which determined that the structure was sub designed 2.5 times compared to what it needed, so structural reinforcements were designed and put into place all along the structures of both patios
• Add two lateral wings to each cover for better protection of sun and rain and adding extra stability to the structural system itself.
Installation: The mounting process was difficult since it´s a heritage building, the use of a mechanical crane was not an option: everything, from the materials to the structure and the membrane was uplifted by hand.
The final project was highly satisfying for both the client and the contractor. Achieving a successful project is always gratifying: this especially had a different sense of challenge being an historical landmark of the country. Therefore, it demanded nothing but the best from the material provided by Sattler PRO-TEX (Austria), up to the intervention on the building and its surroundings including the inner facades of the patios and the decorative elements.
Description of the environmental conditions
Material of the cover
Sattler ATLAS Architecture Type II TFL
Main dimensions and form
Covered surface (m2)
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure