The Expo’70 Space Frame for the Festival Plaza (1970)


• Location Osaka, Japan
• Architect Kenzo Tange + URTEC
• Engineer Yoshikatsu Tsuboi Institute + Kawaguchi & Engineers
• Type of structure Double layer grids space frame
• Awards 1970  AIJ Award

In the Symbol Zone of the World Exposition held in Osaka in 1970, a huge, transparent, space truss roof 291.6m by 108m, supported on only six lattice columns at a height of 30m above the ground, covered the Festival Square. Based on a 10.8m by 10.8m double layer grids 7.637m deep, the roof spanned 75.6m across its width and spanned 108m in the longitudinal direction. On top of each of the grids, a transparent air-supported panel was located, realizing the first transparent membrane structure of large scale in the world. The top and bottom skins of this panel consist of layers of very thin, transparent polyester film. The whole roof structure of 4800 tons was assembled on the ground and it was lifted to its final position by means of pneumatic jacks climbing up along the six main columns.

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