So, this is really cool. The BBC reports that “an international team of architects, artists and engineers” has dreamed up a centerpiece for London’s Olympic village called The Cloud. The observation deck/park consists of 400-foot tall mesh towers and a series of interconnected plastic bubbles that can be used to display images and data — like weather information, spectator numbers, race results. The inflatable elements would rest on top of the towers, stabilized by metal cables. Technology, similar to what’s used to earthquake-proof Japanese skyscrapers, would minimize the effects of the wind.
Funding will (hopefully) come in the form of crowdsourced microdonations, and according to Carlo Ratti, one of the architects behind the project, the cost could range from £5m to £50m, depending on what comes in. That is, if their project is even commissioned: London Mayor Boris Johnson will ultimately decide what structure goes up in the Olympic Park, and other finalists in the competition include underwraps projects from Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley.
From a distance, it kind of reminds us of that Lady Gaga/Hussein Chalayan ripoff where she’s surrounded by bubbles.
But they say it’s actually inspired by the work of German artist Tomas Saraceno. We can see that too.
According to their website, “Our proposal is as light as air itself — a tribute to a digital age of bits and atoms beyond the antiquity of steel and glass – a structure which reveals the connected networks of a common humanity fuelling the Olympics, their 2012 host city, and the world itself. The Cloud proposes a new form of monument — a new form of collective expression and experience, and an updated symbol of our dawning age.”
We wish them the best of luck. Read more, including the project brief, at raisethecloud.org.