Smiljan Radić creates an inflatable stage for Chile’s Architecture Biennale

Smiljan Radić creates an inflatable stage for Chile’s Architecture Biennale

Smiljan Radić creates an inflatable stage for Chile’s Architecture Biennale

Chilean architects Smiljan Radić and Nicolás Schmidt have created an inflatable metal structure to serve as the stage for the country’s Santiago Architecture Biennale.

Located in the Plaza de la Cultura in the Chilean capital, the installation served as a stage for the program of the country’s Architecture and Urban Design Biennial.

Radić and Schmidt’s work consists of a large metal sack-like structure that stands on a lawn between the street and the square.

Inflatable stage for the Chile Biennale
Smiljan Radić and Nicolás Schmidt have created an inflatable stage for the Chilean Architecture Biennale

Weighted on all sides and secured with ropes, the structure was attached to pumps that constantly inflate it, creating a cavernous interior space where chairs and a display area were placed.

Small slits in the side of the structure allow visitors and program participants to walk through while still remaining inflated.

The obviously temporary character of the installation fits the theme of the festival “Vulnerable Habitats”.

Interior with inflatable metal structure
It was created to host conferences and lectures for the festival

Programming took inspiration from this theme and focused on issues such as the rise of informal housing, land grabs, the degradation of public spaces and environmental vulnerabilities.

“We wish to open new spaces for reflection on the cultural, social and technological changes in the coming era of changing fortunes and the lessons learned from the social crisis and the pandemic,” the festival said.

Entrance to the inflatable pavilion in Santiago
Entry is through side slits

In addition to the stage by Radić and Schmidt, three other public installations were included in the program.

Another is the Pavilion Plaza de la Constitución, which refers to the design created by architect Montserrat Palmer 50 years ago for the Third United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Red tent in front of Santiago State House
A red tent was created as a tribute to Chilean architect Montserrat Palmer

A long red tent was erected for the pavilion to shade tables displaying model work by architects and urban planners that “improves the quality of life for individuals and communities” and “broadly reduces the vulnerability of cities and areas”.

Other temporary structures designed for the Biennale include two shadow structures in Plaza de la Ciudadanía by Jean Araya and Miguel Casassus, and Low Estudio.

Metallic screen structure
Jean Araya and Miguel Casassus created a metallic shadow structure for the public during the festival

The first is a shadow structure made of a metallic fabric that refers to the stage.

The fabric was supported on poles to create an undulating tent with holes through to let in light and air.

Low Estudio’s contribution is called Un Monunto “mirrored prism” that reflects the environment to “change the perspective with which the environment is perceived”.

“We intend that the XXII. Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism in Chile is a choral work that promotes a variety of ideas that contribute to the contemporary discussion about the promotion and quality of architecture, buildings and public spaces,” according to the festival.

Reflective installation in Chile by Low Estudio
Low Estudio’s installation reflects the surrounding people and environment

Renowned for his residential and public architecture, Radić has recently created other similar temporary installations, including a reusable inflatable dome for fashion house Alexander McQueen’s shows.

The photograph is by Cristobal Palma.

The Chile Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism took place from January 14th to 22nd, 2023. For more international events, lectures and showcases related to architecture and design, see Dezeen’s events guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *