Ross Brooks

Nike's Aerostatic Dome is World's First Structure Supported Entirely by a Helium-Filled Canopy

by , 04/12/14

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To celebrate the launch of the KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM at this year’s Milan Design Week, Nike teamed up with Arthur Huang, founder of upcycling company MINIWIZ, to create a stunning aerostatic dome supported by nothing more than a helium-filled canopy. Located at Palazzo Clerici in Milan, it’s the first architectural structure which uses zero compressive elements. What’s more, the entire pavilion can be deflated and relocated to another location inside five pieces of check-in luggage.

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Nine glass cases sit at the base of the structure to provide an anchor for the helium-filled canopy above, each of which also contains a pair of Nike’s new shoes. A web of interlaced mesh knitting sits above these cases to provide not only a visual feast, but also act as a buffer between the space below and the balloon above. Most of the lightweight materials used to build this particular masterpiece were post-consumer recycled.

Related: Hanging Pont de Singe Bridge is Suspended by Helium-Filled Balloons in the UK

Much of the dome was inspired by the aerodynamics of Leonardo Da Vinci’s triangular parachute, as well as Alexander Graham Bell’s tetrahedral kite. The distinctive multi-colored yarn, on the other hand, shows the link between this particular structure and Nike’s Flynit technology, as found in the company’s Magista football boot. Instead of fighting the laws of nature, the installation is in balance with them, just as the Flynit technology channels the pressure of moving feet to create support.

+ MINIWIZ

+ Inhabitat Coverage of Milan Design Week

Via HighSnobiety

Images via MINIWIZ

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2 Comments

  1. johannboedecker April 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm
  2. Cid Sinclair April 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Considering the scarcity of helium, this is somewhat of a waste and certainly not green building or design.

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