|M.Sc Student||Boukai Tathiana|
|Subject||Retractable Fabric Structures|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Eyal Karni|
|Full Thesis text|
The present research surveys a particular group of structures - the Retractable Fabric Structures. These structures result from the unification of Deployable Structures and Fabric Structures.
Retractable Fabric Structures are those which can change their configuration from a closed position to an open one by a variety of movements and, in addition, have a fabric material as one of their structural elements.
The research assumption is that this family of structures has a high potential of development since it can be a solution for actual architectural needs, where the structure is the one that adapts itself to various climate conditions. The main purpose of this research is to verify the suitability of fabric material to Retractable Structures and their usage, considering their specific attributes, based on examples of existing projects.
The research methodology was:
Conduction of a literature survey
Creation of a deployable, retractable and fabric structures' data bank
Development of performance criteria
Classification of the gathered data in tables according to the performance criteria
Formation of a summarizing table
Drawing conclusions and reflections on possible future research
In view of this methodology, a literature survey was conducted based on data gathered from the two families of structures. Their unification provided information about the Retractable Fabric Structures group. This literature survey includes studies of each group of structures as well as information about existing projects, presented in a data bank as an annex of this work.
Concerning this information, performance criteria were inferred by the author making possible the development of classifying tables that compare different types of structures according to various criteria. These tables relate to structures' size, usage and performance.
By analyzing these tables together with the information acquired in the literature survey, an additional table was developed. This summarizing table presents the importance of each developed criterion to the structures' type (usage). The table is designed to be an information tool for future continuing studies.
The research conclusions show a high level of suitability between fabric structures and retractable structures. As a result, a high development potential of such structures is foreseen - in relation to specific design requirements and feasibility.
Future research in this domain awaits to investigate new goals and requirements of Retractable Fabric Structures, taking into account the combination of existing structures, mechanisms and modern materials, as well as cases presented in nature and in commonly-used mechanisms.