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Villa Rosa
Pneumatic Living Unit — Prototype 

Design ideas for an architecture that is as variable as a cloud. Pneumatic construction permits changes in volume due to a new building element: air. And the influence of the new form — supported through projections of color, sound, and fragrance — the quality of experience within the spaces.

Project info

Pneumatic Living Unit

The Villa Rosa represents the design ideas for an architecture that changes like clouds. Pneumatic constructions without supports permit changes in volume with air as a building material, which was new at the time. And the new forms influence – supported through projections of color projections, sounds, and fragrance – the quality of experience within the spaces.

The pneumatic prototype consists of three rooms:

The first is a pulsating room,” with rotating bed, projections, and sound programs. Incoming air blows in smells that correspond to the changing audiovisual program.

The second is a room whose dimensions are determined pneumatically – eight inflatable balloons vary the size of the space from minimum to maximum volumes.

The third – the room in a suitcase” – is a mobile room.” A climate-controlled skin with a bed can be inflated out of a helmet-shaped case.

The pneumatic prototype is composed of three spaces:

The pulsating space with the revolving bed, projections, and sound programs –

Appropriate fragrances to accompany the changing audiovisual program are blown in through the ventilation system.

The pneumatic, transformable space – Eight inflatable balloons vary the size of the unit’s space from minimum to maximum volumes.

The space in the suitcase, the mobile space – From a helmet-shaped suitcase, one can inflate an air-conditioned shell, complete with bed.

We founded Coop Himmelb(l)au in May 1968. Of course spaceflight had an especially important effect on architecture and its realization. The idea of the autarkic capsule and the idea that the space suit made the problem of protection obsolete, even in the most adverse circumstances. Then the idea of weightlessness – to be able to move not only on the ground but through space at will, and having the possibility of finding oneself in any position on moving platforms. For architecture that means being free to experience new possibilities.

The design idea propagates architecture that changes like clouds. Mobile skins and spaces. Architecture as light as air. – Wolf D. Prix, April 23, 2009

Sketch by Wolf D. Prix


Coop Himmelb(l)au