Diploma Unit Two. Architectural Association School of Architecture

Tools for Architecture is a research unit based at the Architectural Association in London formed by a team of MArch AA Diploma students and lead by Space Popular directors Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg.

Building System Precedents

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In order to create isotropic building system, I have decided to use inflatables, in particular air-beams and tenserity beams. Which are relatively lightweight, and extremely durable structural elements. I have studied a number of approaches and ways of application in architecture such as military tents, pavilions, domes.


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My research proved that the main and very important part of any structural inflatable is the material which is being used. I have chosen to look at different types of FLEX fabrics and polyesters. The main principle in this materials is to use polyester based ropes and to layer them in different directions in order to later cover it with liquid polyester, which in combination forms an extremely durable and versatile material.

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The second material principle I looked at is called Drop Stitch Fabric. Where you have different types of fabrics stitched together with thousands of very thin threads, known as space yarn. The idea is to leave a gap between the elements in places where the air should fill in, stretching the micro threads, which will prevent the inflated structure from shivering, bending, deforming.