Inflatable canopy

According to kultureflash, Rem Koolhaasdesign for this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London will be an ovoid-shaped inflatable canopy that will float above the gallery’s lawn (see rendering below).


Which somehow made me think of Haus-Rucker-Co‘s project of a cover for the Lange House, designed in 1921 by Mies van der Rohe. The house was roofed over with an air-supported hall made of a white-coated material. In response to the “L”-shaped plan of the house the hall had a heart-shaped plan and also roofed a part of the garden.

Haus-Rucker-Co –an architectural studio formed in 1967 by Laurids Ortner, Günter Zamp Kelp and Klaus Pinter in Vienna– came up with several cool ideas in the late ’60s-early ’70s.

Their Mind Expanding Programme inflatable structures attempted to address the imbalance between human evolution and technological progress.

Balloon for Two was a transparent bubble suspended in mid-air outside the architects’ studio and hosting two halves of a bathtub in which tow “passengers” could seat. The experience was meant to provide the passengers with “calm, relaxation, and love.”

yellow2-b.jpgYellow Heart (pictured above) consisted of a pulsating bubble inside an inflatable capsule. Inside, a bed for two people allowed them to relax while enjoying the inflation/deflation rythm of the air that was pumped in sequence into the chamber.

Their Environment/Transformer with plastic coloured visors changed visual and auditory impressions for a limited time. The processes of seeing and hearing are drawn out of their habitual apathy, separated into their individual functions and put together again as special experiences.


Total delirium was achieved with the Mind Expanders, some kind of blowdryer seat for two that featured an electronic display of light and sound, which was intended to induce a trance-like state similar to that reached through mind-bending drugs or a shamanic ritual.


More images and information in digitalmediatree, world of kane, ebay.

Related: Archigram archives.
Parasite architecture: the backpack house and paraSITE shelters.