Tropical J’s installs cable-tensioned tensile structure at Sea Life Park in Hawaii
In late 2015, Tropical J’s had the pleasure of designing, manufacturing, and installing a custom cable-tensioned Tensile Structure and shade solution for the new Touch Pool at Sea Life Park, Hawaii, which is a marine mammal park, bird sanctuary and aquarium near Makapuʻu Point on the island of O’ahu. The challenge was to create a unique structure with a minimal footprint that followed the sloping and meandering walkway of the touch pool area and provide shade for the trainers and sea life (as well as their visitors) below. The decision was made to artistically split the shade sail fabric in a manner which incorporated two colors consistent throughout the park, burgundy and yellow, colors that pay homage to the native Hawaiian palette or Earth and Sun. Design elements dictated that all measuring had to be done outdoors and on site after the rafter columns had been installed.
Tropical J’s is heavily invested in technology and innovation and considers its design department to be one of the company’s cornerstones. Having recently purchased the 3D Disto Laser Templator, designer Jordan Barnes was able to take all of the on-site field measurements in half a day, by himself. Gone are the tedious and time-consuming days of templating and abstract triangulation of copious field measurements that consume a whole working day of an entire install crew! The laser was relocated multiple times with ease throughout the measuring process and all measurements were taken from ground level. The laser took its measurements by tracing an imagined line running along the underside of each rafter, to be later offset in the design process to account for the diameter of the 4” rafter pipes. Incorporating data from the laser along with Rhino 5.0 and Mpanel, a 3D model allowed meshes to be created between the digital polylines and then relaxed to appropriate desired cable tensions. From there, the meshes were artistically bisected, trimmed, reformed, panelized and compensated to create the unique bi-colored fluid pattern. At this point renderings were also created for production illustration and customer approval. Finally, the cut plots were sent to the Eastman Cutter and placed into production and off to a successful installation.