”Without the fog, London wouldn’t be a beautiful city”

-Claude Monet writing to his wife, Alice, during one of his long

visits to England.


Olympic & Expo structures – with their mute mass, their

ponderous monumentality, and their conspicuous expenditure

on immovable objects – are outmoded. Our proposal is as light

as air itself – a tribute to a digital age of bits and atoms beyond

the antiquity of steel and glass – a structure which reveals

the connected networks of a common humanity fuelling the

Olympics, their 2012 host city, and the

world itself. The Cloud proposes

a new form of monument –

a new form of collective

expression and experience,

and an updated symbol

of our dawning age. It

proposes an entirely new

form of observation deck,

high above the Olympics

– one from which one can

not only see the whole of

London, but the whole of the

world, immersed in the euphoric

gusts of weather and world data. It offers London’s highest

park and an immersion within both our great clouded skies and

the cosmos of our dataworlds – as well as a live information

system transmitting data and imagery from around the city

and the world. It presents the perfect Olympic symbol – a

million unbounded particles contributing briefly towards a

vast, beautiful, constantly-fluctuating whole. London, with its

diversity, internationalism and tolerance, unites countries;

the Cloud unites all people.


Inflatables. Each inflatable has its own air pump that controls air pressure level.

All pumps are networked, thus forming a distributed, self-regulating system.

Each pump will generate energy by letting air in and out during the daily heating

and cooling cycles due to solar radiation. Inflatables on the periphery of the cloud

are insulated with nanogel and kept hotter through internal resistors - so that they

can float freely in air.


Sun. The remaining energy for the Cloud will be produced by thin film photovoltaics

printed on inflatable membranes, doubling as solar shading in the summer in order

to preserve maximum internal thermal comfort inside. It is expected that this will

collect 200 MWh per year, making the Cloud not only zero emission but effectively

‘below-zero emission’ (the Cloud will be a net producer of energy to the East London



Wind. Wind will play with the cloud and the freely floating inflatables at its periphery.

The tower shaft will utilize heat generated and wind pressure differential to develop

airflow - like Jörg Schlaich’s solar tower turbines in Spain and Australia. The wind will

naturally ventilate the inhabited spaces inside the Cloud during the summer, while

they’ll be sealed to maintain internal heat generated by the occupants and

the sun during the winter.


Water. Water is used to generate energy through a series of micro turbines,

placed in both the rainwater and black water risers. Rainwater is collected

locally - mid-air - by the lattice of cloud spheres, saving on energy

requirements for pumping water up from ground level, and serving as

a battery for thermal energy storage. Waste water flushed and rainwater

drained from the cloud will generate energy as they flow down the risers).


10 photos and 6 drawings

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 6 years ago via