In 2002 prof. Portoghesi asked me to give him consultancy about how to cover an elliptical hole in the roof of a Mall inside le Meridien Hotel in Rimini. We suggested a tensile structure like a “cuttlefish bone” entirely made of pre-stressed ropes and surmounted by insulated glasses.
This was our first “tensegrity” project. All cables are set in two orthogonal directions, and they are pre-stressed to give the structure the right stiffness to prevent any dangerous oscillation due to wind. Vertical steel poles connect the cables. Back in time, due to the poorness of the structural softwares, it was more difficult to accurately estimate the curved geometry of this structure and more difficult was to find the way to check about the mechanical behavior with large displacement techniques. Anyway this was a great experience of mixing glazing and cables; a mix that will come later in more recent projects again.