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12 years ago, I found immense joy in designing a set of architectural sails at the French Riviera. The project is situated on a promontory, an iconic place on one of the capes protruding into the Mediterranean Sea. Now, 12 years later, the sails give me again immense joy because they still look stunningly beautiful...
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The tensile structure above the monastery Julianus in Tongeren – 10 years after installation

Exactly 15 years ago, in February 2008, The Nomad Concept built a tensile structure over the courtyard of a former monastery in Tongeren, now a hotel.
Nowadays, 15 years later, the membrane still looks beautiful as new: white, clean, translucent, perfect. The membrane was built in Tenara PTFE of the first generation.
There is a huge difference in quality of membranes. Foremost the design is important. Is this a surprise? Membranes are form-active structures. That means that the form plays an active role in the stability of the thin membrane. The role of the form itself is more important to the stiffness of the structure than the E-modulus of the material. The form and curvature is thè key factor of a stable membrane! The architect / designer influences the stiffness literally in the form he creates. The better he creates, all the better will the structure behave for it. Longevity is directly connected to the form given by the designer. If a bad design is analysed and reinforced 50 times by a structural engineer, it will not change the quality of the project. Architecture and engineering are one!
The choice of materials, the design, the quality of engineering, the quality of execution and of installation, each of them are important to a successful membrane.

During the first years, all membranes look probably nice and clean. But after 15 years, there is an enormous difference.
We invite you to check this project in real, in Tongeren (Belgium) if you live in the neighbourhood. Or in our Portfolio Section on our new website. We made a footage “10 years after installation”. The membrane looked beautiful 10 years after installation, but now,15 years later, it still looks as beautiful 😍.

#design #architect #architecture #engineering #quality #tensilestructure #membranes

Tongeren Julianus Courtyard
Tensile structure over the courtyard of a former monastery – Julianus Tongeren (Belgium)

Julianius Tongeren, copyright Robert De Wilde, photographer

The main sketch idea: a dynamic dragon flying over the old maonastery and picking to the pond and tree with his beak (sketch by arch. Eva Lapage)


Tensile structure over the courtyard of a former monastery – flying masts (suspended in the air)
15 years after installation, the tensile structure by Nomad Concept still looks beautiful as new
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Key benefits of our sails: keeps the hot summer sun outside, very translucent, rainproof, windproof.
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Logo Nomad Concept

The Nomad Concept is a Belgium-based studio practice focused on tensile and lightweight architecture. From our inception in 2000, we have delivered exceptional private, corporate and public projects.
As a full-service firm, The Nomad Concept is present on projects from start to finish, ensuring that the ideas conceived in the beginning with clients are manifest at the end. .

Sail Sculpture Private Villa France
The Nomad Concept - sail above roof terrace Willemstad (Curaçao)
Tongeren Julianus Courtyard

Koning Leopoldlaan 9A
2870 Puurs-Sint-Amands

T. +32 (3) 485 82 80 Contact us