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Tensioned fabric sculpture on display in Sydney

Fabric Structures, Projects | January 1, 2010 | By:

The Eora aborigines viewed the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 from the current location of the Sydney Customs House, Sydney, Australia, which has served as a gateway to people and goods entering the country since 1844. Now this historic building hosts events and exhibitions, including a five-story, translucent green tensioned-fabric sculpture dubbed the Green Void, designed by MakMax Australia, Eagle Farms, Australia, and architect Chris Bosse, co-founder of the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA).

The building’s heritage status posed challenges for the Green Void team, including restrictions on permanent anchors and weight. MakMax delivered, using digital workflow and computer-assisted design to produce an organic sculpture with 233 square meters (760 square feet) of surface area with a total weight of 210 kilograms (463 pounds). The fabric, 80 percent nylon and 20 percent Lycra®, was supported by only five lightweight aluminum rings. Sunlight illuminated the Green Void by day; it looked like a giant bubbling lava lamp by night. When the exhibit ended in June 2009, the fabric folded into a package the size of a large athletic bag.

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