Pilgrims admiring the architecture in the holy cities in Saudi Arabia have probably come across the large convertible umbrellas, adjusting to relieve visitors of the harsh desert sun.
SL-Rasch GmbH is an architecture and engineering company specialised in lightweight and tensile structures based in Stuttgart, Germany, and implements a special concept for buildings in the Middle East and abroad.
“Convertible structures are generally based on lightweight constructions, minimal usage of materials and must have a purpose to be achieved,” said Mustafa Rasch, Managing Director, SL-Rasch.
“The difficulty of a convertible structure is to achieve its cause of creating a sheltered space which in the same can be transformed into an open space, requiring the structure to be as light as possible while allowing the different members of the structure to move freely.”
Rasch added that the engineering and architectural development is a strongly intertwined process, therefore shape and outer styling of a construct is a self‐defining process achieved through many interactions between boundary definitions, calculations and their reactions to form and shape.
“An interior space is more emotional,” he said. “To achieve an acceptable result, one must concentrate much stronger on the human, human scale and atmosphere aimed at to create.”
With branches in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina, SL-Rasch has expanded to provide a wide range of unique convertible architecture including tents, mobile and convertible roofs, Islamic designs and umbrellas.
But above all, Rasch says that architecture should be more than just producing an object, but a way of creating inspiring places for people to work, live and enjoy.
First decision is taken on the purpose of a project. Then of course it has to be of such type, that we can assure to achieve a best solution with our path, tools and way of developing the project.
“Not in any case we see our approach as the only, or the best appropriate to reach a projects solution,” he said.
“But if these basic indicators are found positive and we feel that we can challenge ourselves to reach beyond our current horizon while creating a best solution and contribution then for us, the conditions are close to being perfect.”