Inflate Great Conservatory

Tags: events, steel, fabric, temporary structures

Related projects: Kia AirClad, Unipart Dome

Inflate Great Conservatory - Webb Yates Engineers
Inflate Great Conservatory - Webb Yates Engineers
Inflate Great Conservatory - Webb Yates Engineers
Inflate Great Conservatory - Webb Yates Engineers

Situated in the hills of the Peak District National Park for the duration of the Royal Horticultural Society’s inaugural Chatsworth Flower Show is an inflatable replica of Joseph Paxton’s Great Conservatory.

Centrepiece of the Floral Marquees at the show, the structure is a 40m diameter inflatable octagonal dome, with a 22m diameter lantern on top. With a height of 14m in the centre and a large central opening to the sky, the space houses exotic palms and full-sized trees as well as an immersive hanging installation designed by CityScapes.

Taking into account the substantial wind loads and forces, an impressive truss structure was designed to support the central part of the inflatable with ground anchors providing the resistance required.

The new structure was assembled over five days with the lifts and fixings timed to suit the wind conditions. Once secured to the ground, the structure resisted unprecedented gale force winds during the week of the show. Following the show, the structure was deflated and carefully demounted, ready to be rebuilt annually at Chatsworth for the next five years.