Second Dome is an unconventional, inflatable structure designed by Spanish architecture firm DOSIS. It made Hackney’s London Fields its temporary home this past October. Originally created for the London-based workspace provider Second Home, it became a pop-up space with the express purpose of uniting its surrounding neighbourhood.
A safe public space for community gathering, Second Dome is a reconfigurable space that can transform within minutes from a single 65-square metre bubble to a multi-room structure with over 400 square metres and 8 metres high. Featuring a transparent canopy, spotted floor and Canary-yellow walls, it’s a far cry from most of the bland new developments that increasingly populate the London skyline.
“Second Dome is such a playful space,” says Sam Aldenton, co-founder of Second Home. “It shows how our urban areas can fire our imagination, and can make it possible for people to come together in new ways.” Since its erection at London Fields, events held inside the structure and organized by non-profit organization Shuffle included animation workshops, film screenings, piñata-designing classes and science experiments.
Designed to instantly respond to specific urban needs, the pneumatic dome can be quickly assembled and activated with little effort or energy. According to Designboom, it is the only structure to have the ability to be assembled so quickly while maintaining the capacity to span large areas with a thickness of less than a millimetre. “Additionally,” the publication reports, “the structure automatically responds to wind and pressure, requiring extremely low quantities of energy for fabrication and assembly.”
The Second Dome structure promotes the rethinking of traditional architecture and the pushing of boundaries in the built environment. Since the advent of more temporary, pop-up spaces, the idea that all structures shouldn’t necessarily aspire to permanence has sparked an enormous shift for the architectural community. It has created a space for the potency of mobile structures like Second Dome and their aspects of sustainability to thrive.
DOSIS hopes to inflate the structure again soon in various places around London ahead of it’s permanent installation at London Fields, scheduled for Spring 2017.