The 16th All-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition in 1896 in Nizhny Novgorod is rightfully considered one of the most significant expositions of the 19th century and the largest in Russia. Prior to that, All-Russian exhibitions were organized mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg, sometimes in Warsaw. The exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod became the first provincial exhibition.
At this exhibition, according to Shukhov's design 8 diagrid metal structures were built including 4 pavilions with hanging steel membrane roofs: round, two rectangular and oval, which became the world's first hanging steel mesh membrane roofs. A distinctive feature of all four hanging coverings, which were especially noted by the visitors of the exhibition, was the absence of rafters, so familiar to the eye at that time. All the load from the roof, snow and wind was taken up by an exceptionally thin spatial mesh membrane, sagging in the form of a chain line between the upper and lower supports, calculated and produced according to Shukhov's patented method.