Paris’s SITBON ARCHITECTES have won the City Vision PFF Inflatable Architecture competition with their red domed “Grenade” design. Announced at Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the competition called for architects from around the world to create an inflatable pavilion that could be easily installed or removed. SITBON’s Grenade infuses culture and art to virtually any area it is transported to, while resembling an ornate pomegranate.
The outside of the Grenade pavilion is made up of bright plastic red “seeds,” orb-like building blocks of varying sizes that decrease in size as the volume builds. Arranged in a 3-dimensional hexagon, the shapes cap off with a hexagon skylight, which filters light into the interior and gives visitors a connection to the sky. When the plastic structure is inflated, the seed cells have a glowing effect, catching exterior light with their translucence.
Inside, the pavilion is naturally ventilated, through open seeds around the perimeter of the upper ceiling. Comfortable red inflatable bean bags for relaxing, art exhibitions, meetings, and community programming can all take place within the pavilion.
Grenade can pop up in virtually any field, park, or even right in the middle of a city, with low cost and easy transport when it is deflated. Inflation time is quick and easy, with minimal anchoring. The red pavilion stays stable in its pop-up spaces by filling the lower seeds with sand, as well as a traditional anchoring system, much like a tent. Combined with the structure’s inflated air pressure, the pavilion is durable and steady.
SITBON’s Grenade is a burst of color that could be inflated anywhere, adding not only an exciting design that would attract visitors, but temporary programming that any community could benefit from.