TCy Hermès project: tensegrity structure with Jakob ropes for Hermes

The TenCylindre was unveiled at the Geneva Watch Show. Jakob ropes give the complex tensegrity structure rigidity and minimal weight. The structure was developed by an international team of architects, engineers and researchers.

The TenCylindre is a seven-meter-high cylindrical tensile structure designed by French artist Clément Vieille for the Hermès watchmaker's booth at Watches and Wonders 2021 in Geneva. The structure was designed and built in an international collaboration with AEA SA Group.

The structure, composed of 180 carbon rods, 180 compression rings, 84 radial ropes and 348 spiral ropes, is suspended and unfolds along its axis. The structure derives its stability from its self-tensioned state. This tension is achieved by the horizontally integrated Jakob ropes.

For the structure, Jakob Rope Systems was able to supply two different types of stainless steel ropes. One type of rope compresses the tensegrity structure. These 84 radial ropes (4 mm) are arranged in 14 horizontal levels. Each level includes six ropes. The second type of ropes consists of 348 ropes (3 mm) arranged in clockwise and counterclockwise spirals. These ropes are further divided into those with movement outside the cylinder and those with movement inside. The result is the shape of a hollow cylinder with an outer diameter of 3.35 meters and an inner diameter of 1.65 meters.

After the end of the Geneva watchmaking exhibition, the tensegrity structure returned to the EPFL laboratory in Lausanne. Here the structure underwent a series of tests. The tests were intended to demonstrate the correspondence between theoretical calculations and the actual behavior of the structure.

G.M.I. General Montaggi lndustriali srl was a project partner in the project.


Customer: Hermès, Paris

Project team:

AEA, Bellinzona / Geneva (Arch. Félix Stämpfli and Arch. Filippo Broggini)
Clément Vieille, Saint Alban Leysse
INGPHI Ingenieurbüro, Lausanne (Ing. Bernard Adam)
University of Miami, College of Engineering Miami (Prof. Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos)
EPFL-CCLab, Lausanne (Prof. Thomas Keller and Ing. Tara Habibi)
SUPSl-Mechanica / Engineering and Material Technology Institute (Ing. Luca Diviani and Ing. Simone Salamina)

Other Project Partners:

LT Bruno Lehmann, Trub
Jakob Rope Systems, Trubschachen
BWB, Stans-Oberdorf
Mateduc composites, Ste. Gems
Friderici special, Tolochenaz


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