Pneumatic structures have been thoroughly investigated and developed during the 60’s. However, the energy crisis and aesthetic developments prevented this type of structures from becoming part of the mainstream construction methods. Nowadays these structures are typically used in special areas of architecture and design. ‘Imagine Deflate-ables’ concentrates on expanding the very limited knowledge of vacuum constructions by additionally developing a range of aesthetic, technical and functional design possibilities. Until today, there has been a very limited number of designs developed and realized using pressurized constructions – despite the fact that this technology could lead to positive contributions: the air pressure of the earth can be used as a stabilizing and form-generating parameter, creating a specific and inspiring shape. In addition, the very nature of this technology offers varying degrees of thermal and acoustic insulation. There are of course weak points, such as potential leakage and the need for high pressurization of the construction, but new material technologies and advanced structural concepts can provide the solutions to overcome these issues. Exploiting the possibilities of extremely light and, at the same time, energetically active constructions, deflate-ables are one of the promising fields of architectural and design developments.
/// Summary Imagine 02 – Deflateables
Authors: Ulrich Knaack, Tillmann Klein, Marcel Bilow
Contributors: Arie Bergsma, Andrew Borgart, Raymond van Sabben, Peter van Swieten
Publishers: 010 Publishers, Rotterdam 2008
Delft University of Technology , Faculty ofArchitecture, Chair of Design & Construction