Imagine: Deflateables


Marcel Bilow
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
Tillmann Klein
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
Ulrich Knaack
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
Keywords: vacuum constructions, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, deflateables


Pneumatic structures are thoroughly investigated and developed during the 1960s. However, the energy crisis and aesthetic developments impeded the use of these structures as a mainstream construction method. Nowadays, they are typically used in special areas of architecture and design. Deflateables concentrates on the very limited knowledge of vacuum constructions and develops a range of aesthetic, technical and functional design possibilities.

However, very few designs that use pressurised constructions have actually been realised, even right down to the present day - despite the fact that this technology offers simple, positive aspects: the air pressure of the earth can be used as a stabilising and form-giving parameter, creating a specific and inspiring shape. In addition, the very nature of this technology provides varying degrees of thermal and acoustic insulation. Of course, there are weak points such as potential leakage and the need for high pressurisation of the construction; but new material technologies and specific structural concepts will bring solutions to such issues. Exploiting the possibilities of extremely light and energetically active constructions, deflateables are one of the promising fields of architectural and design developments. The chance to create structures that can move and react to requests such as user and climate requirements, as well as formative demands, lifts this topic onto the level of a realistic and usable technology for as-yet unknown design possibilities. 


December 15, 2017


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ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)


Physical Dimensions

170mm x 240mm