Floatastic
by Qastic

| 9 comments
 

American studio Qastic has created an inflatable pavilion with a floating roof held down by fabric veils (+ slideshow).

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Called Floatastic, the structure was designed by Connecticut firm Qastic for a wedding ceremony. They intended to create a temporary shelter without imposing any loads on the ground.

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A giant horizontal white balloon is filled with helium. As it rises upwards, a series of fixed fabric veils keep the inflatable overhead and appear to dangle like jellyfish tentacles. "Buoyancy is achieved through the efficient harnessing of a noble gas," said Qastic.

Floatastic by Qastic

The designers said that the floating pavillion is the result of research into buoyancy and structures that are made by reversing the position of the load.

Floatastic by Qastic

"Since the surrounding environment and microclimate fluctuate in every 24-hour cycle, our studies found that the floating pavilion will experience many buoyant conditions which are unique but steady," said the firm.

Floatastic by Qastic

Here's a film featuring the structure floating in the wind:

We've featured other stories about inflatable structures recently, including a pop-up pavilion that looks like a soap bubble and a twisted tubular inflatable pavilion installed in east London.

Floatastic by Qastic

See more inflatable architecture and design »
See more pavilion design »

Photographs are by Net Martin Studio.

Here's more from Qastic Lab:


Floatastic

Balance Through Buoyancy is a research base pavilion called "Floatastic" by QASTIC Lab, which was designed and built for a private client to serve as a temporary shade pavilion for a wedding ceremony in Edgerton Park, in New Haven Connecticut - an Olmsted planned landscape.

Floatastic by Qastic

This deployable structure aims to create a floated shelter which avoids imposing any loads to the ground, which traditional structures require. Instead it proposes a well-fabricated balloon, which is filled with Helium to raise the imposed loads of fabric veils and any possible dynamic environmental loads toward the sky.

Floatastic by Qastic

Buoyancy is achieved through the efficient harnessing of a noble gas. The idea of 'flesh' is explored through the pavilions possible functions and effects, by which an abstracted mass can impose on fabric surfaces in both relaxation and tension.

Floatastic by Qastic
Elevation with Floatastic at full height - click for larger image

It is within this dialogue of the helium container and the loads that we can test possible architectural and spatial effects, with articulation between Balloon edges and fabric veils exploring the possibilities in which the complex surface veils are relaxed or in tension in double curvature configurations.

Floatastic by Qastic
Floatastic shown at different heights - click for larger image

Making use of the method of reversing load bearing systems, the form of the pavilion is defined by geometrically precise formwork that is then fabricated with randomly varying edges both for the horizontal balloon and the PVC pipes on the ground to allow for varied functions at different heights, climates and locations.

Since the surrounding environment and microclimate fluctuate in every 24 hours cycle, our studies found that the floating pavilion will experience many buoyant conditions which are unique however steady.

Floatastic by Qastic

Metaphorically, Floatastic envisioned to be a surrealistic and breathtaking imitation of the Jellyfish that appear alive and tries to swim against the external forces in the water. However, rather than being in the water, Floatastic questions its audiences to unconsciously know if they are floating in the sea or on the ground.

Floatastic by Qastic

Architects: QASTIC Lab
Location: Edgerton Park, New Haven, Connecticut. USA
Constructor: QASTIC Lab
Client: Jahangir Mohamadzadeh
Designer & Team Leader: Mahdi Alibakhshian
Design and fabrication Team: Ali Sadeghian, Reza Zia, Ahmad Jamei, Carlos Bugatti, Delara Zarrinabadi, Lili Saliani
Design & Fabrication Consultant: Nathaniel Hadley, Mohamad Reza Mojahedi
Conceptual & Visualization Consultant: Gregory Hurcomb
Exhibition Period: July 2013

  • A

    As helium is a non-renewable resource that is becoming scarcer by the year, I’d rather see it saved for uses that will benefit humanity a little more than a floaty veiled balloon, like in MRIs and other scientific equipment. They should use hydrogen in this.

    • Christine

      You are such a wedding crasher…

    • alex

      Hydrogen hasn’t been used in this way since the Hindenburg disaster, hence the buoyant gas switch to helium.

      There are plenty of helium deposits on the moon, hence the recent scientific re-interest in moon landings/moon bases.

      • malib

        Kuma’s is not involving the tension factor when you are faced with wind.

  • aws

    i think Kengo Kuma’s tearoom is a bit more sophisticated – http://kkaa.co.jp/works/floating-tea-house – where he balanced the buoyancy of the balloon and the weight of the fabric. In this project the fabric is not freeform as it should be and the shape is intentional.

  • amsam

    For something that is literally lighter than air, the thickness of the balloon makes the whole thing look chunky and heavy. Strange. It’s an interesting idea, but there’s got to be a way to make it look better than this.

  • chill4625

    Wow. Seems like a lot of inflated language to describe a sheet covering a balloon.

    • amsam

      Best comment ever.

  • d.teil