Inflatable Diamond Grid Eco-Pavilion by Various Architects

by , 02/23/09

Various Architects, Yorkshire Renaissance Pavilion, Sustainable Design, Collapsible Pavilion, Mobile Pavilion, Inflatable Design

Various Architects recently designed this striking Renaissance Pavilion for a competition to create a mobile performance space for Yorkshire Forward. Based upon a set of structural concepts perfected in their collapsible stadium, the inflatable event space is ultra-portable, generates all of its own energy, and is 100% recyclable. A gridded diamond facade conceals a faceted interior space reminiscent of the coal mines found throughout Yorkshire. The venue can be easily reconfigured to hold both small and large crowds, and it’s versatile enough to host everything from intimate gatherings to outdoor concerts.

Various Architects, Yorkshire Renaissance Pavilion, Sustainable Design, Collapsible Pavilion, Mobile Pavilion, Inflatable Design

Various ArchitectsRenaissance Pavilion features an inflatable structural skin that is precision-cut by computer-controlled machines, giving the pavilion a flawless wrinkle-free look. It fully inflates in a little more than an hour, and should the pavilion’s lifespan ever come to an end, the entire skin is 100% recyclable through a process called Texyloop.

Additional innovative features include the mounting of solar panels on top of its shipping container, which allows the pavilion to generate energy while it is being transported. Once the structure has been set up, wind turbines will help generate the power needed to maintain the inflatable structure and any lighting systems deployed during the evening. The hope is that the pavilion will be completely self-sustaining and will provide a versatile performance space even in off-the-grid locations.

The Yorkshire Pavilion is one of three finalists in a competition to design a new event space for the Yorkshire Forward, and the winner has not yet been announced. Unfortunately we were not able to cast our vote, but we definitely give a nod to the forward-thinking creativity of Various Architect’s entry.

+ Various Architects Yorkshire Pavilion

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  1. Jim Dodson March 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Thanks again to Inhabitat for featuring our design.

    A quick comment to Gary. Actually, manufacturing the tubes is not a problem. Our collaborator and manufacturer Tectoniks have custom software that cut all the parts from a 3D model. Their software also simulates the pressure on the material ensuring practically \’wrinkle-free\’ seams and welds. We have made a full scale mock-up of piece of a similar structure previously. The buildings that Tectoniks regularly produce are larger than this pavilion and they see no problem in manufacturing our design as is. Have a look at their website for examples –

    As this structure will erected 2-3 days at a time for a 6 month travel season you can extend the 5 year lifespan by 3 or 4 times when it comes to sun exposure. We were quoted more than a 5 year lifespan on the Ferrari textiles in question. You are correct to question the Texyloop process, but I doubt you can find another material for a temporary pavilion that is comparibly recyclable, or achieves a similarly low packing volume and weight. For a mobile pavilion we believe that we have made the correct choice.

    Jim Dodson, Various Architects

  2. Gary February 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Nice rendering, and a beautiful design, but actually building that as an inflatable structure will be monumentally difficult. I know of only one way to achieve flat planes with inflated fabric and it would involve hugely laborious
    and painstaking fabrication by hand; CNC processes won’t help much, same for all those tube nodes; they can be CNC-cut but the RF or hot-air welding will be hyper-critical and must be done by hand demanding incredible
    operator discretion while moving tons of heavy, hard to handle fabric. The Texyloop recycling process is interesting, but their website is vague on the chemistry involved and that would need to be clarified before we can be sure that recycling polyester-reinforced PVC is anything approaching sustainable. The initial manufacture of the PVC fabric is still very icky (to use a technical term) and PVC has a very short lifespan; on the order of only 5 years when exposed to sunlight, we should be trending away from its use. I’m not trying to be a downer, but I designed and helped to build one of the largest PVC structures in the world and I am intimately familiar with the materials and processes. I’m not proud of having facilitated that building and am eager to develop alternatives. Inflatability remains very interesting, but we need to be responsible in our material choices.

    Gary Paudler

  3. mbfranklin February 24, 2009 at 4:35 am

    This is like a breath of fresh air!

    So much better than the normal hangar type shapes that are used for inflatable buildings.

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