This project by Kengo Kuma is a commission from the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt in 2008. Even though this is old news in 'web years' the idea of inflatable temporary buildings seems to be a timely post. With the current interest in manufactured housing I'm surprised there isn't more investigation into alternative structures that take advantage of new materials. Besides fulfilling the strictures of an enclosure for a tea ceremony Kuma's design is also beautiful and seductive.
by Tom Villa
From the Tenara website ( the company that supplied the fabric)
The creator of this work, Kengo Kuma, calls it "breathing architecture." When inflated, the Teahouse has in interior space of twenty square meters, enough room for a complete teahouse with tatami mats, electric stove, and preparation room.
The structure is made from a double layer of 40% light transmitting GORE™ TENARA® Architectural Fabric. Even with two layers of fabric, plenty of natural daylight filters through the walls. At night, integrated LED lights make the entire structure glow.
The ease of joining the GORE™ TENARA® Fabric with high-frequency radio frequency welding enabled this complex design to be quickly set up in one day, deflate in 10 minutes, demount in two hours. Assembled by Canobbio SPA. Thanks to the fabric's flexibility, the structure can be quickly deflated, folded, moved and re-inflated.