Project: FarEastFlora Dome
Material: Single Layer Clear and White ETFE film (250µm)
Area: 600 m2
As a retail showroom, our design intent was to produce an iconic structure that would create a whole new greenhouse experience for visitors. We achieved this objective through the use of ETFE film, which has tensile, functional, and aesthetic properties ideal for architectural greenhouses.
The free-form dome shape was formed by curved architectural steel as the main supporting components to the flexible ETFE membrane. The steel structure was further minimised through value engineering and the extreme light weight of the film. The interface in between the membrane and structural steel is seamlessly integrated using proprietary detailing and aluminium fixtures that not only provide sufficient tensioning for a smooth, glass-like surface, but also maintain air and water-tightness.
Taking into account environmental factors, the top of the dome was designed with white ETFE film to reflect heat and strong light, while the surrounding facade was covered with clear ETFE. Clear ETFE forms an almost invisible barrier between the interior and exterior of the dome, allowing visitors to have an unobstructed view of the activity within, and allowing for the full spectrum of visible light to benefit the indoor plants, promoting healthier plant growth.
As the local climate is summer all year round, it is critical to maintain the greenhouse dome to a desirable temperature and humidity level to avoid damage to the plants and thermal discomfort of the visitors. As such, active ventilation such as exhaust vents were integrated into the structural design to extract the hot air from the dome, creating a sufficient pressure difference and providing air circulation to lower down the temperature. To examine the conditions in the dome, temperature and humidity sensors were installed internally and externally to allow us to remotely monitor the environmental conditions. In order to keep the dome cool as heat builds up at noon, internal shading was also installed to dampen the solar heat radiation and hence reduce the temperature within the dome.