Elevating architectural excellence


In a showcase of architectural ingenuity, Chongming Island in Shanghai, China, hosted the tenth edition of the China Flower trade fair. At the entrance of the Flower Expo Garden stood a marvel of design – two colossal magnolias in full bloom, their petals adorned with large veined leaves. What made this structure truly exceptional was the seamless integration of over 5 000 square metres of Serge Ferrari’s Flexlight 1302 S2 membrane.

Flexlight 1302 S2 membrane stretched over steel frame to form exceptional architectural entrance structure

Designed with precision, the flower-shaped structures soared to an impressive 19.21 metres in height and stretched an astonishing 100 metres wide. The choice of Serge Ferrari’s Flexlight 1302 S2 membrane was deliberate, considering its outstanding technical properties. Durable, translucent, dimensionally stable and finished with a PVDF coating for easy maintenance, this membrane proved to be the ideal canvas for this ambitious architectural endeavour.

The architects’ vision was brought to life by the steel frame, intricately crafted to mimic the delicate veins of a leaf. This steel framework provided the essential support for the membrane, a flexible composite material that significantly reduced the volume of steel required for construction. This ingenious use of materials showcased not only the architects’ creativity, but also their commitment to sustainable and efficient design practices.

Colossal magnolias made of fabric at entrance to the China Flower trade fair

The Flexlight 1302 S2 membrane offered an abundance of creative possibilities. Its translucent nature allowed for the incorporation of 3D holographic imagery, transforming the structure into a captivating projection backdrop. Even more impressively, the membrane’s coating ensured it retained its pristine white hue throughout the event, a testament to both its durability and aesthetic appeal.

Beyond its visual allure, the flower-shaped structure served a practical purpose. Designed to collect rainwater, it enabled the purification of this valuable resource for automatic irrigation and site cleaning. This integration of sustainable features aligns perfectly with the overarching theme of the China Flower trade fair, which celebrates eco-friendly urban development and environmental conservation.

Two huge magnolias in full bloom designed and constructed using Serge Ferrari fabric and steel framework

This spectacular project not only showcased architectural brilliance but also echoed the values dear to the Serge Ferrari Group. Committed to sustainable development and environmental responsibility, the Group’s involvement in such high-profile endeavours underscores their unique position in the tensile architecture market.

Synchron Markings, as the local distributor for Serge Ferrari in southern Africa, continues to play a pivotal role in bringing innovative architectural solutions to the region. Their partnership with Serge Ferrari exemplifies a shared dedication to pushing the boundaries of design, while also prioritising sustainability, safety and aesthetic excellence.

Serge Ferrari's Flexlight 1302 S2 membrane stretched over steel frame

Technical Information:

Event: Exposition China Flower 2021
Structure: Located at the main entrance of the Flower Expo Garden
Architect: ECADI
Serge Ferrari Product: Flexlight 1302 S2
Area Covered: 5 000 sqm

© Synchron Fabrics & Foils, November 2023

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