The Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LaM) in Lille, France, celebrated its grand re-opening after five years of renovation in a diaphanous inflatable textile structure merged with the surrounding buildings and museum. The LaM commissioned 2hD Architects of Nottingham, England, to create a temporary art space for week-long public receptions, press events and film projections. Inflate Products Ltd., Kent, England, built an organic curved pavilion to set off the orthogonal lines and hard edges of the refurbished museum and its surrounding park.
Inflate designs and manufactures inflatable PVC structures, everything from an office-in-a-bag that can be inflated with a fan to huge multi-module spaces with integrated lighting, floors and ventilation. The LaM structure, two trident domes resembling a curved peanut shell, featured softly glowing light for evening appeal and a modern, welcome feeling for daytime visitors. While the structure’s original purpose was to host re-opening events, the LaM plans to use the pavilion as a flexible and iconic space for events on the museum grounds, including theater, lectures and video installations.
The iconic and playful new pavilion won the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Midlands Award for 2HD and Inflate. “It is great to have the architectural world acknowledge that there is a depth and relevance to inflatable structures,” said Inflate’s Nick Crosbie. “It really offers architects a chance to express their ideas and thinking in a free-form manner.”