Near–transparent barriers are transforming architecture in a range of ways. Barriers made from transparent stainless-steel materials (such as Webnet and wire-rope cables) help maintain sightlines across spaces, and facilitate views, natural light and airflow. They are highly complementary to modern, open architecture and allow the design features of a building to shine through.
By contrast, cumbersome or heavy safety barriers tend to block light and views, close off spaces from each other, and their presence may interfere with the design aesthetic of the building.
The architectural impact of near transparent barriers
Here are some examples of the impact of stainless steel near-transparent barriers.
1. Northern Beaches Hospital atriums, Sydney
Tensile retrofitted stainless steel Webnet barriers to the hospital’s seven-storey atriums to address safety problems. This presented some challenges in terms of loads and appearance. However, the barriers underwent professional precision engineering, and great care was taken to ensure they complemented the existing glass balustrades and maintained the open-air feel of the foyer.
You can read more about this project here.
2. Nightingale Village, Melbourne
We designed and installed the translucent Webnet safety barriers across the common areas of ParkLife, one of the Village’s sustainable mix-use buildings. The combination of robustness and near-transparency in a safety barrier such as this one is unique to Tensile’s solutions. Find out more on our website project page.
3. Monash University Learning and Teaching Building (LTB), Melbourne
The Monash LTB has a full-length transparent cable barrier installed on its multi-level atrium. While glass was initially considered, in the end stainless steel cable was chosen as it enables a transparent barrier that is also anti-throw and non-climbable. This in turn allows for fuller use of upper-level spaces and reduces costs. Check it out here!
4. Melbourne School of Design
Like the Monash project, this design school needed a barrier for its atrium that would facilitate sightlines and natural light. In this case Webnet was used, which spans the whole five storeys of the atrium and creates a very low-maintenance barrier. Take a look at the completed barrier here.
Key benefits of near transparent stainless-steel barriers
Stainless steel barrier products, such as Jakob Webnet and wire rope, come with a light thin profile but are also highly robust. These materials offer numerous advantages for producing near transparent barriers that still meet stringent safety codes.
- Low maintenance and cleaning requirements – which reduces ongoing costs. By contrast, a material such as Chainlink might be cheap to install but comes with high maintenance needs.
- Excellent longevity and durability – with long warranties of up to 25 years. This compares favourably to glass (five to 10 years), Chainlink (one year), timber (one to five years) and Weldmesh (10 years).
- Excellent span and sheet size for Webnet. This allows for the creation of barriers stretching over several levels, which is not possible with glass or Chainlink. Vertical cable barriers can also be made full-length on multi-storey atriums, such as for the Monash LTB.
- Flexibility and adaptability – Webnet has a malleability that you won’t find in more solid materials. This allows it to be stretched in all directions and wrapped around solid structures.
- Easy to install – particularly for Webnet which is a lightweight material.
- Ease of replacement – especially compared to glass which can be difficult to replace.
- Fire-resistance – unlike glass, Webnet and stainless-steel cables do not need any additional treatment to be fire-resistant which helps keep installation costs down.
To find out more about how transparent barriers are transforming architecture or to discuss your project idea, call us today!