- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 16 Apr 2018
Cable net structure
Cable nets were developed and popularised as a minimalist structural system in the 1960s and 70s by Frei Otto. However, the architect Helmut Jahn is often credited with using the system in the most innovative application, when designing the Kempinski Hotel, Munich, in the early-1990s. Jahn adopted the cable net system, creating a structural form of pre-tensioned cables to provide support for a sheer glass curtain wall. The cables and fixings are typically stainless steel, enabling the accommodation of high pre-stress loads.
To increase height and load capabilities, horizontal cables can be combined with vertical cable arrangements. By doing so, system designs can be developed for double curvature walls as well as flat walls.
Leaving aside the boundary steel, cable nets are capable of being very simplistic structures which are favoured for providing optimal transparent facades and blast-resistance. The clean aesthetic of the glass wall is often capable of integrating well with adjacent structures and the need for conventional support structures can be avoided by the single pre-tensioned cables arranged in a geometric (often a net) pattern; as long as the cables are aligned with the glass joints.
The cables are locked together at their vertices using a clamping component which also fixes the glass to the net. Complex hydraulic jacking processes are involved in applying the cable prestress, and the large loads will often require close coordination between the façade contractor and the building engineer.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A right to light generally refers to the right to receive sufficient light through an opening.
Interference and compatibility - the effects of electromagnetic fields in the workplace.
Important action is being taken to inspire young people to train as engineers.
A survey of Leicester’s historic buildings resulted in local listing being taken more seriously.
Demolition is the most high risk activity in the construction sector. Read our introductory article here.
BSRIA report on the domestic boiler market, with China recording the most 'dynamic market uptake'.
Do we really know everything important about the impacts of our infrastructure projects? And if we don’t, does it matter?
Former Chief executive Richard Howson blames government for being 'poor payers'.
An environmental plan is an essential tool for setting and managing environmental objectives for a project.
CLC call for an 'outcome-based, transparent and efficient' industry with new report.