We featured "Concrete Curtains" earlier but what does concrete have to do with lightweight architecture? Researchers at the Kassel University are exploring new synergies of constructions and materials - including a combination of membrane constructions and concrete.
To create this lightweight building out of concrete, a flexible skin with an embedded membrane structure is inflated with air and filled up with a special concrete mixture such as UHPC (Ultra High Performance Concrete). Once the substance is hardened a solid concrete skeleton allows the building to be finished from the inside.
Instant housing such as these concrete-based Concrete Canvas Shelters are made to save lives in refugee camps. If Kassel's research works out well, building a solid house might become as quick and easy and as blowing up a big balloon?
Aart van Bezooijen is a Dutch optimist and motivator for materials in design. He lives and works in Hamburg where he founded Material Stories (2005) to inspire and enable the best use of materials to make design more competitive, creative and sustainable.
2011 he explored sustainable solutions from around the world during the "It's Not Easy Being Green" project with graphic designer Paula Raché. He co-organized the Materials Café exhibitions at the Hannover Messe in Germany, the world's leading trade fair for industrial technology. Since 2012, he works as Professor for Material and Technology Transfer at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle growing a new materials library.