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The World Goes to Brazil on the Net

08-18-2015 12:14 PM CET | Leisure, Entertainment, Miscellaneous

Press release from: COROCORD Raumnetz GmbH

Corocord Milan Expo 2015 Brazil Pavilion

Corocord Milan Expo 2015 Brazil Pavilion

The rope net landscape in the Brazilian Pavilion is one of the most popular attractions of Expo 2015 in Milan – and among the ones that have received the most media coverage for this world exhibition. The rope net was manufactured and installed by Corocord, the Spacenet Inventors from Berlin. The execution plan and structural engineering calculation was carried out by the bureau Officium, a Stuttgart-based firm specialising in these kinds of structures.

The filigree rope net landscape, suffused by light and air, is an inspiration: It sways and breathes to the rhythm of anyone who enters it. Those who walk, climb or sit within its 120-millimetre mesh are immediately fascinated by the living structure. Visitors to the Expo 2015 in Milan have been queuing five deep since the opening of the world exhibition on 1 May 2015 for a chance to explore both of the large Corocord rope nets featured at the Brazilian Pavilion.
“It is spectacular to see how people react with excitement and curiosity to the net worlds”, says Torsten Frank, authorised representative of Corocord GmbH and head of the new Kompan Design Studio. The Spacenet Inventors from Corocord produced both rope nets entirely in Berlin and, together with employees from Corocord’s parent company Kompan, installed them in Italy over Easter 2015. Kompan Italy was also the affiliate of the Brazilian trade company APEX, which awarded the contract for the rope nets.
The work on the architectural gem of the Expo pavilion falls well in line with the tradition of Corocord, known for its innovative rope play equipment. Its projects over the past several years include a rope net sculpture as the centrepiece of the project ‘Kunst + Architektur in Alt Köpenick’ (‘Art + Architecture in Alt Köpenick’ – KAiAK) in Berlin, the ‘Interactive Loop’ of the Weltkulturen (world cultures) playground in Wiesbaden and the ‘Netzvilla’ (net villa) in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
The Netzvilla project was completed last year by Corocord in collaboration with the bureau Officium, a specialist in the design and construction of rope net support structures. This strong partnership has now also proved itself in the project for the Brazilian Pavilion: Officium calculated the shape and statics of the opposing curved net surfaces, and Corocord then transformed the plans in the Berlin manufacture into structures that display both outstanding aesthetics and perfect workmanship.
“The fully formed hyperparaboloid net is alive, and it is incredibly fun to walk on it”, says Thomas Ferwagner, managing director of Officium Design Engineering GmbH in Stuttgart. This is possible because both nets are inherently very stable, due to their ingenious shape, and are able to compensate for the tension in the individual sectors.
The engineers in Stuttgart used a sophisticated form-finding and calculation process to create an experience that gives the visitors to the pavilion the impression of nearly weightless movement, explains Ferwagner. “In order to build nets this stable, we had to create opposing curved surfaces within virtually every single square metre.”
This is how a dynamically curved and inherently stable net world emerged from the initial layout developed by the Brazilian planning group Studio Arthur Casas/Marko Brajovic in 2014, which still had two-dimensional nets hanging in the Corten weathering steel support structure of the pavilion. “The form and the statics are extremely close, and the visitor can feel this with every step”, says Ferwagner. The tensile forces of both rope nets are absorbed through the edges of the surfaces and the ring-shaped reinforcements built into the nets with 16-millimetre guy ropes in the support structure of the pavilion.
During the five-week-long installation of the rope nets, a massive, weighty package containing a total of 24 kilometres of rope and 120,000 knots made of steel S clamps gradually unfolded into the harmoniously curved surfaces that have fascinated visitors since the opening of the Expo. “This object is our biggest and most spectacular architectural project to date – and it has received resoundingly positive feedback from the people”, says Torsten Frank, who is clearly pleased at the enthusiastic response from both the trade and the public.
For the knotting of the enormous nets, measuring 12 x 60 metres and 14 x 35 metres, according to the detailed plans from Officium, Corocord rented a special assembly hall in Berlin with a 20 x 60-metre large workspace and an unsupported roof. This is where both nets were tied from special ropes of the “Herkules” type, the same ones Corocord uses for its iconic playground equipment. For this project ropes of four-stranded steel wires were used, in which each strand is tightly wrapped with PES yarn.The fibres are then fused inductively to the steel wire, making the rope especially resistant to wear and to longitudinal movements of the fibre structure along the steel wire.
In comparison with the traditional rope play equipment developed by Corocord founder Conrad Roland in the 1970s, filigree ropes 16 millimetres in diameter were used for the net landscape of the Expo pavilion. The matt stainless steel of the S clamps for the knots were also 6 millimetres smaller in diameter than those normally used for play equipment. This produces the organically curved surfaces that are visible to the observer, in an even mesh with an edge length of 120 millimetres.
As extra security for the structure, which receives several thousand visitors daily, there are two additional layers stretched out beneath the actual nets: a fine-mesh synthetic net that prevents mobile phones or other still smaller objects from falling below, and a large-mesh stainless steel net, which together form a stable safety structure.
Visitors are unaware of these details at first glance, but instead enjoy the overall experience of the rope net landscape through all the senses. Every day, thanks to this immense, aesthetic place for people to move and come together, the world goes into the net in the Brazilian Pavilion at Expo 2015.

We at Corocord are the specialists in playground Spacenets. Every year we construct over 800 of these nets at our headquarters in Berlin. A staff of 40 works here in manufacture, development and administration. Our products range from the classic Spacenet to large-scale customised equipment that shapes public space as transparent architecture.

Corocord has invested creativity, enthusiasm and wide-ranging innovation into developing our range of products, originating from an invention by Conrad Roland, into what it has become today. Conrad Roland, an architect by profession, came up with his revolutionary idea for the first Spacenet in 1971. The high standard set by the company’s founder with regard to quality and design is up to today a benchmark for Corocord. For example, Corocord continuously develops the complex rope-manufacturing process that uses high-quality materials and modern production techniques.

Our Spacenets are entirely designed to serve the needs of the user from the tiniest detail to the overall design. After all, play equipment is most fun when the needs of the children who will use it are borne in mind at its very inception. This is why, for example, we choose ropes of different diameters for kindergarten children and older schoolchildren.

All Corocord products conform to EN 1176. The management system with certification according to ISO 9001:2008 is the guarantee that insights gained in marketing and maintenance are used to improve products and documentation.

COROCORD Raumnetz GmbH
Eichborndamm 167
DE-13403 Berlin4Q
M. Molina

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