Summer Pavilion for the Golden City

Proposal for Novosibirsk, Russia
Competition Entry, 2007

1. Summer Pavilion for Novosibirsk. (New Siberia)

I attempt to produce here an inflatable midsummer's day in the forest/city, in the
Golden Capital of Siberia.

2. Left, plan of compression strut network of cyclide roof; Below, elevation of support
conics; Right, plan projection of project geometry.

The project results from a collision of three ideas-

1) yurts, whose material and ornamental elaboration can be scaled up or down, and whose
function smoothly varies from the utilitarian to the ceremonial; 2) the iconic structures
of Russian Constructivism, their enthusiasm for mathematical expression; 3) mining the
current state of portable building products, which really amounts to a kind of detournement
out of their usual military / industrial application.

3. Left, Iconic view; right, internal view.

The structural system is an assembly of air tubes and pillows attached to planar elements
consisting of tensile membranes and compression struts, all of which act in unison to
provide structural stability. Erection of the structure is accomplished by inflating the
pneumatic elements until the entire structure reaches its shape.

4. Top Left, modular origami paper model of roof; Top Right, base model; Lower Left and
Right, views of model.

In an effort to unpack the mathematical construction of a shape whose locus is called a
cyclide, first studied extensively by Dupin in the early part of the 19th Century, one
discovers the deep connections between conic sections and three types of geometry-
inversion, projective and differential. Here, a unique construction of the cyclide
developed by James Clerk Maxwell is transferred to the physical construction of the
pavilion. The method consists of constructing a conic and its anticonic, in this case
an ellipse and a hyperbola erected at right angles to each other and sharing the same
foci. For the pavilion, the loci becomes a fabric dome tesselated by a tensegrity
network supported by conical cross-sections made of pnuematic tubes and pillows.

5. The Ideas.

6. Proto-construction from cyclide algorithm.

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