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Auditorium

1971 Arnhem, Netherlands
Coauthor: Theo Botschuijver, Sean Wellesley-Miller

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam

Three inflatable pavilions, Information Pavilion, Video Studio and Auditorium, were commissioned and developed specially for the international outdoor art exhibition Sonsbeek Buiten de Perken.

The Auditorium was the world’s first two-level air-supported structure. With two sets of revolving doors, the ground level could operate at a higher pressure than the upper level. This was necessary to support the weight of people sitting on its ceiling, which was itself the upper-level floor.

The foyer on the ground level was circular, with transparent walls, and numerous sandbags held down its ceiling. The ceiling constituted a soft, air-supported floor for the upper level, which could be reached via a spiral staircase. Sitting on that air-cushioned floor, visitors could enjoy performances and talks that were given on a small stage in the centre (though this functionality was sometimes undermined by the audience's preference for wildly jumping around on the inflatable floor).

The upper floor of this structure had a yellow, air-supported, dome-shaped roof that could be removed to create an open-air theatre. Its emergency exits were simply zips in the wall and rope ladders that could unfurl down the outside of the ground-floor cylinder.

Exhibition Record

1971/6/19 - 8/15:  Sonsbeek buiten de perken, Park Sonsbeek, Arnheim, Netherlands