It’s architecture built by groups of random strangers. Each building lasts only for a few seconds. And the walls are made of glycerin and water.
The Bubble Building was a temporary installation designed by DUS Architects at the International Architecture Biennial in Rotterdam last month. The so-called “world’s most fragile and temporary pavilion” invited Biennial visitors to get their hands dirty–er, clean–creating public architecture.
For three weeks in April, 16 hexagonal aluminum ponds were installed in a Rotterdam park and filled to the brim with soapy water. Groups of visitors could don rubber wellies and step into the troughs, lifting up thin hexagonal rods to create the billowing bubble “walls” of the pavilion. Each iteration only lasted a few seconds, and according to the architects, many visitors stayed for hours.
“The Bubble Building is also about emerging new forms of collective building,” explain DUS, whose office tagline is “Public Architecture.” Rotterdam was almost completely razed during World War II–the city is still in a state of perpetual construction–and that impermanence is reflected in the billowing walls of soap. But “ultimately,” say the architects, “the Bubble Building is about beauty.” Extra points for honesty.
DUS has a full explanation of the project on their website, here.