Summer 2019 – Architects of Air studio is known for its luminaria, mesmerizing structures inviting people to lose themselves in sensory bliss and meander through maze of winding paths and inspiring domes while being immersed in radiant colours coming simply from daylight shining through the luminarium’s fabric.
RELATED STORIES: discover more inflatable architecture and design on Archipanic…
“A ‘luminarium’ is a sculpture people enter to be moved to a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour,” explains Alan Parkinson, founder and designer of Architects of Air. The studio’s latest inflatable structure, Daedalum, is named after Daedalus. In Greek mythology he was the father of Icarus and the architect of the Labyrinth of Minos.
Daedalum’s core element is a maze of 19 egg-shaped domes. The arrangement of the translucent elements that are the dome tops and pods is designed to produce vistas and hues of considerable variety and subtlety.
The spatial conception creates mysterious sight-lines and allows colour to be altered from event to event. This flexibility over the colour experience makes Daedalum is the most painterly of the luminaria in terms of artistic control.
Exploring the labyrinth the visitor can also discover 2 major new elements, designed by Alan Parkinson’s son Meko. The Tree is an adventurous assembly of intersecting volumes rising above the visitor’s head creating many intriguing viewpoints. The Main Dome features an innovative indirect illumination designed to vary the colour inside according to the sun’s direction.
The 600 piece pattern of the Main Dome ceiling was loosely inspired by Rome’s Pantheon with its radiant oculus mimicking the sun and the Gustave Doré drawing of angels circling heavenward in Dante’s Paradise.
Visitors are asked to remove their shoes before entering the airlock. Once inside they are free to follow their map and explore the installation. Or, if they prefer, they can find a cocooning pod where they can simply sit and lie back to enjoy the ambience, enhanced by the subtle sounds of a specially composed immersive soundscape.
Dedalum is on a tour across the globe. This summer it can be explored at the Sziget Festival in Budapest and the bOing! Festival in Canterbury. Other luminaria are set to pop up in many events across Europe, the United States as well as Australia and Taiwan.
All photos: courtesy of Architects of Air unless indicated otherwise.