Historical Perspective

Back to Future

Lightweight fabric structures were built as early as in the nomadic era with desert tents being an example still used today. Their ability to be assembled rapidly, and to be moved if required, was a vital necessity at that time. The appreciation of the easy construction led not only to the popularity of tents at that time but also to our use of similar structures today.

The beginning of the membrane construction

Modern membrane structures are based on the ideas and designs of Frei Otto and have their origins in the the middle of the 20th century. With the unveiling of the German pavilion at the  Expo ‘67 in Montreal, the first prototype was presented to the public. An early commercial application of this nascent technology was the 1972 Olympic Athletics Stadium in Munich under the supervision of architect Günter Behnisch.  It is now classified as a historic monument and still continues to impress with its lightness and elegance.

Predecessor companies and Hightex

The roots of today’s Hightex can be traced back to several predecessor companies, First mentioned KOIT which was founded by Herbert Koch, the father of Klaus-Michael Koch. The early involvement of the Koch family in the development of the first membrane structures such as the Munich Olympic Park, has ever since the base of the later success to Klaus-Michael Koch and his team of membrane construction experts at Hightex and all predecessor companies:

Overview: Hightex and predecessors

Founding Year Company name Managing Director
1948 KOITWerk Herbert Koch Herbert Koch
1974 (changeover) Koch Konstruktive Membranen GmbH & Co KG Herbert Koch Hans-Jürgen Koch, Klaus-Michael Koch
1989 Koit Hightex GmbH Herbert Koch, Hans-Jürgen Koch, Klaus-Michael Koch
1995 (changeover) Koch Hightex GmbH Hans-Jürgen Koch, Klaus-Michael Koch
1999 Koch Membrane Structures GmbH Klaus-Michael Koch
2000 (changeover) Skyspan GmbH Klaus-Michael Koch
2001 B & O Hightex GmbH Klaus-Michael Koch
2005 (changeover) Hightex GmbH Klaus-Michael Koch (until 2008)
Frank Molter (2008 – 2015)
Klaus-Michael Koch (until March 2019), Olga Hofer; board member: Elena Baturina, Klaus-Michael Koch, Andrey Stolyarov
Andrey Stolyarov (since April 2019), Olga Hofer; board member: Elena Baturina, Klaus-Michael Koch, Vladimir Egorychev
Andrey Stolyarov, Olga Hofer (since October 2019)

Today

Many innovations, improvements, and developments have occurred over the intervening years. Including in particular the construction of buildings exploiting the great potential of lightweight, polymer membrane materials. This has led eventually to the use of fully transparent film materials, and the development of crucial know-how via the execution of innovative projects.  In addition, the increased availability of low cost computing power has made possible the rapid analysis and calculation of structural stresses in a wide variety of designs. This has also been accompanied by material developments, and material optimization, resulting in flexible composites, such as polymer/glass-fibre, being widely available to the construction industry. Hightex considerable experience in this field of activity and its project-portfolio now includes many projects completed.