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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Portable Architecture by Robert Kronenburg

yet because of their impermanent nature it is only recently that they have begun to be perceived as architecture. Familiar traditional building forms such as the tent,tipi and yurt utilise sophisticated constructional techniques and complex habitation patterns that have not only retained their relevance for thousands of years but are linked to some of the most sophisticated building patterns of the present day.

The Bedouin tent incorporates compressive struts and tensile membranes that utilise the same principles as modern tensile engineering systems. The North American tipi can be compared to a single cell of a space frame, adapted to use membranes without inherent strength (animal hides) and incorporating twin skin systems and natural air movement patterns for environmental modification. The Asian yurt uses modular manufacturing techniques and a geodesic-based wall structure that are familiar twentieth century constructional strategies. Contemporary portable buildings have a long and interesting pedigree, which includes principles that have been adapted into permanent construction.

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