Fabrics in construction

I have researched the internet and found some buildings that have used woven materials in its construction.

This office block in Tokyo was completed by Japanese studio Aisaka Architects in Tokyo. The four-storey building Keiun Building sits between a railway line and a fire station, made up of a row of ground-level shops with three multi-tenant office floors above. The woven facade is called the knitting method which involved intertwining curving pieces of aluminium that function as sun shades for the offices within, the woven pieces are coloured in five different shades of red, which is intended to reference a brick building that once stood on the site. Steel brackets were used to hold the aluminium curves in place and these were attached to a layer of autoclaved aerated concrete panels,

Aisaka said the facade is a reinterpretation of the sudare – a traditional bamboo blind. “Focus is placed on the Japanese sudare that does not interfere with the area of the room and works to pass air while shutting down heat. It is substituted with the high-durability, light, and inexpensive aluminium,” (Mairs, 2015)

Each curved piece is fixed in place with a bolt at either end, holding the bowed shape, the exploded diagram below shows how it is made up in more detail. It reminds me of pieces of ribbon or party streamers threaded through each other and it’s practical too.

Fig. 1 Images of the red basket weave facade in Tokyo

Heatherwick Studios based in central London have transformed the entrance to Guys Hospital, London by adding an undulating facade of woven steel panels which encase the boiler house. This facade is known as The Boiler Suit and is made up of 108 undulating tiles of woven stainless steel braid, it is illuminated at night to provide a distinctive welcoming beacon for staff and visitors arriving at hospital in the dark and was only made possible thanks to funding from Pool of London Partnership, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the Friends of Guy’s Hospital. The weave is so cleverly done, it looks just like a basket weave where the threads interlock.

Fig. 2 Images of the Boiler Suit at St Guys Hospital London


Fig. 1 – 3 The red basket weave facade in Tokyo https://www.dezeen.com/2015/02/23/aisaka-architects-keiun-building-red-basket-weave-facade-tokyo-office-block-japan/ (accessed 23/8/22)

Fig. 2 Images of the Boiler Suit at St Guys Hospital London https://www.dezeen.com/2007/08/20/boiler-suit-by-thomas-heatherwick/ (accessed 23/8/22)


(Mairs, 2015) https://www.dezeen.com/2015/02/23/aisaka-architects-keiun-building-red-basket-weave-facade-tokyo-office-block-japan/ (accessed 23/8/22)

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