An organically shaped canopy built by me for The Kingdom Center for the Arts, (Montville, Maine). The deck was supplied by client, i built the canopy. Tarp is 30X50 ft heavy woven poly type. Frame uprights are #8 rebar with #3 rebar strut reinforcement. Half inch cold rolled defines edges and overall shape. The rebar was bent and welded in tree fashion. Saplings are maple and oak, which bulge out the dual domes while masking the artificiality of steel. Computer powered geometry, (see below), was used for completing work with confidence, in 2 weeks time, with one assistant.


Following are some 3D models of tents, all visualized in the excellent software: formZ, (version 3.x).

First are three exploratory models intended to capture the essence of a bird shape. These models employ four spiraling edges where the integrity is maintained by 1) steel rod (in the firstexample) and 2) by additional use of struts along tensile members. The first four models were made to explore economical construction methods and to predict the effects through software.

The first example has tree saplings (not shown) supporting and tensioning the tarp (also not shown) The brown lines are #8 rebar (with #3 rebar struts additionally reinforcing curves). The green tubes are schedule 40 pipe as footings bolted to existing deck used as sockets for sapplings.

Next, above is a study of mechanical means to strengthen the integrity of a spiraling edge, using struts. The first 3 views in the picture above utilize "hidden line rendering" to discover penetration points of the struts through the fabric.

Next, above is a bird shaped study which employs the spiral in an upward direction, more like an arch.

Next, above is a minimalist study of stitching two tarps together and draping diagonally. The intent is to escape the look of the ordinary at minimum expense.

Below is a Nurbz model of a tent manufactured by Eureka. It is actually an end section only, the tent is named "Century". I found the Nurbz tool of formZ very effective in this design, although the real tent uses horizontally layered seams of tent material. This model could employ formZ's "Section" tool to develop the seam positions.

Hire Bo for freelance achitectural modeling. See model examples page.

I am available for designing, modeling, building and consultation. My strengths are many years experience with hands on construction contracting, comprehensive consulting and intensive use of formZ software. Call 207-342-5796 (Maine, USA, EST).

More of Bo's curvilinear ideas rendered with powerful software.

More of Bo's ideas for trade show structures.

Bo's architectural concepts and consrtruction projects.

Bo's installation art / celebration services.

Alda's wedding flowers, click here.

Fabric structure: visualized and built.

The content on this website,, is placed in the public domain only as a free exchange of ideas and as a "hard studied wish to serve life". The author assumes no responsibility for the improper use of the concepts in these web pages, as all relevant laws of life and local codes should be verified and observed before any building or experimentation proceeds. discussion is welcome, please write.  Bo Atkinson