February 27, 2012

The kindergarden sail: a hands-on project

The students of the postgraduate “Membrane Lightweight Structures” program have been working on a case study with a very special customer base. The task is to design a sail for a Viennese kindergarden which should give the children a covered area and protect them from sun and rain. This case study is integrated into the curriculum of the whole four semesters, starting from the first unit in November 2010 until the last unit in May 2012, when the temporary sail will be erected.

In this project, all steps of the process of making such a sail are being considered: from the idea finding, to the first designs as well as model making, making a time table, force calculations, patternings or building permission. 

The kindergarden is located in the fifth district and has an outside area of around 811 sqm. The kindergarden hosts 100 kids between three and six years old and uses the playground all year long. It is very important that the kids have their own space, but that the staff can still see them under the sail.

In November 2010, the participants worked in groups on the design of such a sail and made models which were shown to the kindergarden kids in class. Afterwards, the projects were elaborated in detail and a jury chose one winning project which is now being carried out. In January 2012, the soil was tested and a prototype was erected. Now, the project team is finishing the details before erecting the temporary sail in May 2012.


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