Tensile Membrane Canopies

urbanspec Tensile membrane canopies

The freeform shape of tensile fabric structures results from characteristics unique to membrane tension and within established design parameters for wind loading, snow loading and rainwater management, distinctively styled canopy projects can be delivered cost effectively. These advanced fabrics have a lifespan equal to alternative covering materials and with careful design can blend successfully into both traditional and modern architectural environments.


A particular advantage of the tensile membrane design is that  irregular shaped canopy footprints can be accommodated. This enables corners and custom layouts, provided that the required tension can be achieved within the design.

In daylight, fabric membrane translucency provides diffused, naturally lit spaces, while at night, artificial lighting can be used to create an ambient exterior luminescence. The lightweight nature of tensile membrane design typically requires less structural steel than solid roof coverings, enabling clear spans of column-free space.

The type of tensile membrane canopy selected will determine whether it can be specified as a single structure only or as a series for longer length covered space. Barrel Vault canopies are designed as linear arranged bays meaning flexibility on canopy length is achievable for such applications as covered walkways. The Hypar, Conic, Star and Shield canopies are individual structures that can be grouped together to create striking design themes.

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Tensile Membrane canopy model variants

  • Star Tensile Membrane Canopies

    An innovative twist on the classic architectural tensile form with the single central support column reducing obstructions to the covered space. Star Tensile Membrane Canopies are specified for informal shelter where a striking architectural feature is desired and the cantilever design can be arranged in a group of canopies with alternate cover levels for stunning effect. Waterproof PVC membranes are used over a steel frame with structural designs spanning up to 8m across.
  • Conic Tensile Membrane Canopies

    Conic tensile membrane structures create instant impact with the striking peaked form that can be specified in single, double or triple conic formats. The central support column version has the attractive cable edge design to the tensile membrane cover while the external frame version has a fixed edge design with integral rainwater systems that can be combined to cover large spaces in a series. Waterproof PVC tensile membrane over a steel frame covering from 4m to 9m as a single structure.
  • Hypar Tensile Membrane Canopies

    The classic architectural membrane canopy design utilises a hyperbolic paraboloid form with opposing tension forces keeping the membrane tight across the span. Selected for informal cover or shade protection with architectural value. Available as single hypar or a series design with shared tension columns. Steel frame design and waterproof PVC architectural fabric in a choice of primary colours.
  • Shield Tensile Membrane Canopies

    An innovative cantilever design with a curved central spine in profile, Shield creates a distinctive aesthetic feature for both contemporary and traditional settings. The consistent eaves height offers excellent weather protection and even shading under the structure. Low-profile, central support column layout of Shield can be engineered for cover widths of up to 10m and cover lengths up to 30m.
  • Barrel Vault Tensile Membrane Canopies

    The barrel vault form is highly versatile, providing opportunities to create statement canopies and covered walkways without sacrificing practicality. The portal frame structure is capable of achieving both linear bay length and clear span widths from 2m to 15m in typical design configurations. Structural frame from steel or engineered timber including hybrid designs. Eaves construction as cable edge or fixed with rainwater systems. The one-piece architectural fabric cover system will be white in colour or a close shade this due to manufacturing limitations with larger sized membranes.

urbanspec Fabric canopies Specification & Options

  • PVC Fabric Colours

    urbanspec Fabric canopies are specified with the FTO Series Architectural PVC Fabric which is an advanced, high quality and hard wearing product, with a smooth PVDF surface coating that stops dirt getting ingrained in the fabric, reducing the level of maintenance required to keep the roof clean.
    • White

    • Light Grey

    • Grey

    • Yellow

    • Green

    • Lagoon

    • Champagne

    • Vanilla

    • Aniseed

    • Red

    • Ocean Blue

  • Frame Finishes

    Highly durable polyester powder coatings are applied as the standard finish on steel frame canopies with colours selected from a basic range or from the RAL colour selector. Steelwork is cold grit-blasted to SA2.5, with a zinc coating and anti-corrosive primer, followed by the high gloss polyester colour powder coat finish. Alternatively, hot-dip galvanised coatings can be specified for the harshest environments where a decorative finish is not required. The colours and finishes depicted on this website are representations and should not be taken as accurate.
    • Hot – Dip Galvanised

    • Colour Polyester Powdercoat

  • Additional Options

    Adding options to your fabric canopy allows even greater flexibility for extending the use of the covered space.


    LED lighting can be added to fabric canopies to enable them to be used outside of daylight hours.

    IR Heaters

    External grade radiant electric heaters can be fitted to fabric canopies to provide warmth to users in colder weather.

    Post Protector Pads

    Foam protector pads with heavy duty PVC covers can be fitted to canopy posts for structures situated in play areas.

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