There is no limit to what can be achieved with the intelligent use of rods working together in tension. Glazed curtain walls, tensioned fabric roofs, and suspension bridges, all can depend on structural rods as the primary load carrying elements. The results are structures of unique depth and openness. There are many applications where structural rods can solve a design problem and provide visual enhancement.
The catwalk overlooking the lobby at the Hampton Circuit Courthouse in Hampton, VA is structurally supported using Ronstan ARS3 stainless steel rods. The distinct visual effect matches the overall design of the interior. The Circuit Courthouse was completed in May 2016. The new building replaces a 139-year-old courthouse and brings a completely new design for user traffic flow. One of the most significant changes from the previous building is the inclusion of a space to welcome the general public through the front doors and into the lobby.
Visitors through the front door are greeted by a beautiful suspended catwalk overlooking the lobby. The walk, which appears like a bridge, acts as a transparent connection between two ends of the building. This suspended walkway, is structurally supported by 8 x 1-¼” diameter 316 stainless steel rod assemblies in 18-foot lengths. Aside from the structural purpose, the exposed rods fit perfectly into the design of the rest of the building which uses vertical and horizontal elements to define the space. The polished stainless steel material of the rods compliments the metal and glass railing components. The catwalk at the Hampton Circuit Court is a great example of how unique and lightweight design can be achieved using tensile architecture.
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