Saturday, October 23, 2010


Why use sticks and stones when air -- just air -- will do the trick.  Here are are examples of various inflatable buildings.

This inflatable pub can be constructed in just two hours and brings a kitschy atmosphere that tents just can’t provide, complete with faux paintings on the wall and a real fire exit right through the pub’s fireplace. Sadly, there’s no bouncing involved, which would actually come in handy after a few drinks.

The wind could blow this incredible inflatable research lab around like a beach ball and the crew inside would remain upright and comfortable due to an inner roll-cage. Designed to simply drift along the land on its exterior ‘air bags’, the Arctic Drifter by Studio Les Betes is truly a passive observer of the continent’s landscape and wildlife.

 If you’re traditional enough to require a church wedding but eccentric enough to find an inflatable chapel acceptable, there’s simply no choice but to have your very own blow-up church delivered to the site of your preference. A company called Innovations Xtreme produces this highly unusual structure, which comes complete with pews, an organ, an altar, candles, a gold cross and angels flanking the door – all made of plastic filled with air. At night and from a distance, the church looks surprisingly convincing.

Providing a comfortable, portable, good-looking venue for outdoor events can be a challenge, but this inflatable ‘Bubbletecture’ pavilion has got it covered – literally. The mobile space is easily inflated or deflated and is completely enclosed allowing waterproof, bug-free, climate-controlled entertainment that is also transparent, letting sunlight in and providing a view of the setting.

 Inside South Korea’s Olympic Stadium during a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1988 Olympic Games, which the country hosted, this structure caught the eye of an American visitor with a camera: an unusual inflatable tunnel, reportedly used as a conference room. The tunnel stretched the entire length of the 100-meter sprint and sort of resembles a worm or centipede with its segmented body.

Kengo Kuma’s golf-ball-textured, amorphous blob of a building is a long way from the serene wooden structures that most of us associate with Japanese tea houses. But step inside this airy inflatable and you may find that the domed white walls and ceiling have their own sense of peace and relaxation. Tatami mats and an electric stove make for a minimalist setup, but built-in LED lights give it a little something extra at night.

Far more visually striking than a mere tent, the ‘Renaissance Pavilion’ by Various Architects features a diamond-grid pattern of inflatable tubes that inflate in under an hour to reveal a public event space unlike any other. The 100% recyclable pavilion isn’t just super-portable, it also generates its own energy in an innovative way – by mounting solar panels on the shipping container used for transport, and wind turbines gather additional power on-site.

Is the inflatable pub just not quite big enough for your needs? Perhaps nothing less than a palace will do. Well, they’ve got that, too. Because nothing says ‘luxury’ like air-filled plastic.

Humor -

I backed a horse last week at ten to one. It came in at quarter past four.

I'll tell you what I love doing more than anything: trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself.

See you on Monday.


  1. "Nothing says ‘luxury’ like air-filled plastic." I concur.

  2. Well, they wanted extra space, air-go, they got it!