Pleated    Structures

Retractable roofing

Looking at my page of photographs of other applications of pleating suggests that a significant motivation for using pleating would be expected to be that it provides a mechanism for producing flexible, deformable or reconfigurable structures.

In the context of roofing structures, the most significant type of movable structures that are required are retractable structures.

There are three main types of retractable structure that pleating helps with.

  • Structures that fold up like a concertina or a fan;

  • Structures that consist of sliding panels;

  • Structures that roll up.

A number of folding retractable roofs exist:

Vienna City Hall Courtyard
Toyota stadium roof
Cravo greenhouses
Patio covers

There are sliding panel designs - such as the Komatsu dome in Japan.

Use of a pleated fabric panel results in a lightweight result - and creates a convenient rectangular panel with parallel edges.

Since pleating does not cause a substantial extension into the third dimension, sliding panels of pleated material can be stacked up when retracted - to increase the fully exposed area.

Lastly a "roll-up" design would operate as shown in the following three diagrams:

Roll-up retractable pleated roof pattern

The function of the third stage is to to create the pleated pattern.

It puts the entire membrane into tension, provides it with support - and eliminates any flat or horizontal regions.


Sergio Pellegrino's ring

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