LES GONFLABLES - une architecture portée par l’air
During a 5-day workshop in November 2017 with the engineer, architect and artist Hans- Walter Müller, a group of students at the UdK Berlin built an inflatable plastic structure shaped by air pressure (a „Gonflable“).
„Gas and liquids – pressure and tension“, the topic of the workshop, was explored in the group by examining the physical and structural characteristics of the inflatable structure on a 1:1 scale. The volume consists of a half cylinder and two quarter spheres with smaller hemispheres on top. It is 10.80 m long, 7.20 m wide and 4.25 m high. The shape was first developed in 3D, then geometrically transferred onto the plastic sheets, cut to size, and finally glued together. The final result was then complemented by additional details, such as an entrance through a large zipper and a belt with filled water bottles to weigh down the volume and prevent it from flying away. Through the use of a ventilator, a light overpressure of 1g/cm2 was created, which stabilized the volume through tension.
Using the principle of inflation, it was possible to develop a material and cost efficient architecture within a short period of time. Simultaneously, the structure conveys a certain poetics, as its transparent, translucent skin moves softly above the visitor. The inflatable structure was installed in the courtyard of the main building of the UdK Berlin at the end of the workshop and made accessible to the public during the opening ceremony on the 23rd of November, 2017. In the summer of 2018, it will be erected during the Make City Festival and the UdK „Rundgang” and used as platform for lectures, discussions and exhibitions.
Hans-Walter Müller (*1935 in Worms) is part of the movement of the Art cinétique and creator of the “Inflatables” – structures made from plastic that are shaped through air pressure. The structures he develops have particularly strong spatial and sculptural qualities and show their constructional properties in detail. His training as an engineer and artist makes his work particularly interesting in terms of art and science and has led to a highly interesting intergenerational discourse about space, structure and object.
Elles sont extraordinaires ces constructions magiques, ces „gonflables“, une architecture portée par l’air. Quote Hans-Walter Müller