The name is Daedalum – the name comes from Daedalus, the man who built the labyrinth of Minos in the Greek myth – and is composed of 19 interconnected egg-shaped domes made of translucent material. The structure was installed at the Royal Albert Dock, London, from 21 to 23 June, on the occasion of the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. The labyrinth of the “Air Architects” – Alan Parkinson and Meko – is built with a variety of translucent materials of different colors to create a truly sensational play of light and dark voids.
“I design the structures to create a particular encounter with the phenomenon of light, I design
Each work is connected to the other, in the previous one a clue is left linked to the next one, as in this case. Alan Parkinson has a predilection for Islamic architecture and geometric solids.
Visitors take off their shoes and look out over the structure through an inner tube. 47 meters long and 31 meters wide, it opens with two structures larger than the next, then you come to a series of domes and galleries of various sizes but smaller. Described as “an adventurous assembly of intersecting volumes” The Tree appears as a stack of bubbles intersecting over the heads of visitors.
The main dome is surmounted by a design of 600 pieces of fabric. Designed to create plays of color inside to be as the sun moves during the day. There is a strong inspiration to the Pantheon of Rome and to the design of the angels by Gustave Doré in Dante’s paradise.
Alan Parkinson believes that the construction of temporary inflatable structures allows him to explore what architecture wants to be, while facing practical issues that purely theoretical projects do not have, so many designers around the world are exploring the potential of inflatable architecture.
Text by Elisa Scotti