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SEFAR® TENARA® Fabric Provides Elegant and Enduring Retractable Canopy for Buchs Town Center in Switzerland

Foldable Roof Membrane Transforms Space in the Heart of the City

Publish Date: Friday, November 13, 2015

DEPEW, NY…SEFAR® Architecture’s TENARA® Fabric has completely transformed the “Metzgergasse,” an exterior urban pedestrian area and meeting place in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Nikolai Kugel (Stuttgart) architectural firm jumped on the opportunity to improve the space with an original masterpiece featuring a retractable fabric structure.

Looking for a chance to revive and enhance the neighborhood, Nikolai Kugel designed an elegant, yet enduring solution that would survive Switzerland’s unpredictable weather patterns, using SEFAR Architecture TENARA Fabric 4T40HF.

With the installation of SEFAR’S TENARA Fabric 4T40HF that spans an 11m-wide and 50m-long lane, the Metzgergasse in Buchs breathes new life into the heart of the town. The TENARA Fabric runs lengthwise along four parallel rails that can be folded compactly under a parking bridge at the northern end of the street.

In only a few minutes, the TENARA Fabric can be deployed to span an area of ​​approximately 525m² (5,650 sq. ft.). When in place, the fabric forms an undulating roof with an average height of 6.5m (21.5') above street level. Because TENARA Fabric is woven from ePTFE yarn and coated with PTFE, it can be retracted and deployed countless times without degradation or losing strength, and does so beautifully at the Metzgergasse Buchs.

“PTFE fabric is simply the best option for any convertible roof structure,” says Julian Leinhard, manager of str.ucture GmbH, the structural designer of the project. “For the Metzgergasse in Buchs, the TENARA Fabric 4T40 allowed for a perfectly rain proof cover with incredible translucency, its thick and heavy nature allowed it to hang straight under its own weight in the folded position without bunching.”

TENARA Fabric's industry-leading light transmission rates provide superior translucency for effective and appealing light diffusion without affecting light temperature or light transmission negatively.

“The optical aspects of fabric are foremost in our minds as architects,” says Nikolai Kugel, project architect. “As a result, we chose TENARA Fabric because its translucency allows usable light during the day and a beautiful glowing accent at night.”

Because of its 38% translucency level, the fabric is perfect for daytime and evening uses. TENARA Fabric diffuses the light and expands in tension, cleanly billowing out above the light to fill in the canopy’s frame. Additionally, LEDs are incorporated in order to provide accent lighting and pleasant coloring effects during evening hours.

The new membrane roof is extremely accommodating for shoppers and sightseers in the provincial neighborhood — they can wander outdoors and reap the benefits of sun and rain protection. In addition, restaurants now offer outdoor seating so tourists and locals alike can enjoy a meal while taking in Switzerland’s breathtaking views.  

When storms or heavy winds strike — a particular challenge in the foothills of the Alps — TENARA Fabric withstands the weather. TENARA Fabric is tear-resistant and was subjected to extensive wind tunnel testing before installation that involved deploying the dirt-resistant and water-proofed fabric using electrically driven drums to pre-stress the fabric in both directions to generate its final wind-stable state.

TENARA Fabric is also inert and highly resistant to blemishing and degradation, far surpassing all other fabric materials, and its perfect for this busy setting. TENARA Fabric was the clear choice for this installation as a fashionable, foldable and flexible solution to a heavily trafficked and prominent public space in the heart of Buchs, Switzerland.

“For this high-quality application, TENARA Fabric was the only choice. There is no other fabric that is waterproof and can also fold repeatedly without breaking down. This project would not have been possible without TENARA Fabric,” adds Kugel.

The project team for the Metzgergasse in Buchs included retractable system manufacturer Aliva AG, Mauren, Liechtenstein, architect Nikolai Kugel, Stuttgart, Germany, structural designer str.ucture GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany, wind tunnel investigator Wacker Engineers, Birkenfeld, Germany, total project architect Kaundbe Architekten AG, Vaduz, Liechtenstein, total project engineer Ingenieurburo Ferdy Kaiser AG, Mauren, Liechtenstein, steel console constructor Tuchschmid AG, Frauenfeld, Switzerland, steel roof constructor Heinrich Rohlfing GmbH, Stemwede, Germany, and electrical installer Kolb Elektro SBW AG, Buchs, Switzerland.

To learn more about SEFAR Architecture’s TENARA Fabric, visit http://www.tenarafabric.com.

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit www.sefar.us

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a leading manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, Sefar has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community. For more information on SEFAR Architecture’s products and services, call Peter Katcha at 727-388-4919 or visit www.sefar.us.