Chris Bosse, together with Amanda Henderson from Gloss Creative, designed the MOET Chandon Marquee for the Melbourne Cup 2005, the biggest annual horseracing event in Australia.
The architects used the latest digital technologies from concept‐sketch to realisation, to create a sparkling and surreal atmosphere in the name of “Bubbleism”. Through the use of daylight and a tensioned Taiyo‐Lycra material that is digitally patterned and custom‐tailored for the space, a 10x10 "off the shelf" marquee was transformed into a space that the press described as an "avant‐garde environment not of this earth".
Structure and Space
The project renounces on the application of a structure in the traditional sense. Instead, the space is filled with a three‐dimensional lightweight‐sculpture, solely based on minimal surface tension, freely stretching between wall and ceiling and floor.
Specially treated lycra.
The product shows a new way of digital workflow, enabling the generation of space out of a lightweight material in an extremely short time. The computer‐model, based on the simulation of complexity in naturally evolving systems, feeds directly into a production line of sail making software and digital manufacturing.
Transport and Sustainability
The pavilion (weight: 35 kg) is transportable in a sports‐bag to any place in the world; can be assembled in less than one hour, and is fully reusable. While appearing solid, the structure is soft and flexible and creates highly unusual spaces that come to life with projection and lighting. Projects of any scale and
purpose can be realised in a short amount of time.
A minimal surface is any surface that has a mean curvature of zero, so for a given boundary a minimal surface cannot be changed without increasing the area of the surface. The lightweight‐fabric‐construction of the pavilion follows the lines and surface tension of soap films, stretching between ground and sky. These natural curves of bubbles are translated into an organic three‐dimensional space. Since Frei Otto`s soap‐bubble experiments for the Munich Olympic Stadium in the early seventies, naturally evolving systems continue to fascinate for the field of new building typologies and structures.
Derived from Nature / Design by Optimisation
The shape of the pavilion is not explicitly "designed", it is rather the result of the most efficient subdivision of three‐dimensional space, found in nature, such as organic cells, mineral crystals and the natural formation of soap bubbles. This concept was achieved with a flexible material that follows the forces of gravity, tension and growth, similar to a spider web or a coral reef.
By partially letting sunlight penetrate "through" the fabric structure, the pavilion comes to life as a ephemeral and surreal bubble experience. The perforated ceiling filters natural light and directs it onto and through the lycra fabric, creating the depth and translucency of the space and an ephemeral quality. The light changes constantly during the day with moving clouds and changing atmospheric conditions.
Description by architects