This summer, a blow-up pavilion will be touring through various parks and green spaces all around London. The Portavilion, designed by Berlin-based art and architecture collective Raumlaborberlin, is a portable pavilion made out of a translucent membrane that stuffs into the back of a van. Upon arrival at their destination, the membrane is inflated and supported by air and acts as a temporary pavilion. The Portavilion will play host to a number of dynamic cultural programs, including dance programs, festivals and music events led by leading organizations like the English National Ballet, London Festival of Architecture, Tate Modern, the Roundhouse and the Royal Society of Arts.

Raumlaborberlin has been experimenting with “bubbletecture” since 2006 and experimenting with portable, urban architecture as part of their exploration of contemporary architecture and urbanism and development of strategies for urban renewal. Since then they have been developing inflatable spaces that can fit inside a truck, van, trailer, box and even bike. The translucent membrane is then released and inflated at the desired location, and these temporary spaces be blown up anywhere. They can squeeze under bridges, wrap around trees,  nestle into corners, fit inside courtyards or even inside a building.


Raumlaborberlin’s first bubbletecture, the Kitchen Monument, was in 2006, and hosted different food related events. In 2009, they created the Spacebuster in NYC as part of a design competition to come up with a sustainable design solution for the DUMBO archway. The newest bubbletecture temporary space is the Portavilion, designed to host cultural events in open spaces and parks throughout London this coming summer. The entire pavilion will be able to fit inside a van and when inflated looks a bit like a mouses head, but will able to feature a ballet or concert inside.


Starting on May 20th, the Portavilion, nicknamed “Rosy the Ballerina” will start off it’s summer of events with Siobhan Davies Dance and Sadler’s Wells in the London Borough of Southwark. Other events this summer will include dance performances, workshops and jams by East London Dance, English National Ballet, Greenwich Dance Agency, Sadler’s Wells and Siobhan Davies Dance. Then the Portavilion will tour the five boroughs taking part in the Olympics, be part of the London Festival of Architecture and then have performances, debates and music events led by organizations such as Tate Modern, the Roundhouse and the Royal Society of Arts.

+ Portavilion

+ Raumlaborberlin

Via Inhabitat






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