UK designed inflatable pavilion welcomes visitors to French museum of modern art

Thibaut Devulder

Press Release date: Monday 20th September, 2010

2hD Architects of Nottingham, UK, have designed an inflatable pavilion for the Museum of Modern Art in Lille, France. The pavilion will house events celebrating the re-opening of the Museum, from 21st to 26th September 2010.

On reopening after more than 4 years of refurbishment and extension, the Museum wanted to hold its celebratory events in a striking alternative to the standard marquee. They called on the specialist knowledge of 2hD’s French director, Thibaut Devulder, an expert in fabric and membrane architecture, and the design flair of fellow director Alina Hughes, to come up with the idea for the events pavilion.

Located in the sculpture park at the entrance to the Museum, the pavilion will be the focal point for a week-long programme of events, including the formal opening by French Culture and Communications Minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, on September 21st. 

The inflatable structure and flexible design mean that the pavilion can be simply depressurised and stored after the celebrations, ready to house future events ranging from theatrical performances to video installations.

“The organic shape of the pavilion is meant to stand out from the Museum buildings behind, making it a focal point for arriving visitors”, says 2hD’s Alina Hughes. “It will help to welcome and introduce people to the extended Museum and its huge, exciting collection of Modern art.”

“Inflatable structures are an excellent way to cover a large area for events,” according to Thibaut Devulder. “They are more efficient and interesting than traditional tent marquees. The lack of rigid poles gives a clear floor area, they are quick to set up, look fantastic during the event, and then fold away into a tiny storage area.”

Designed to hold up to 350 people for events and performances, the pavilion is constructed of lightweight fabric by specialist manufacturer Inflate and was shipped to the Museum site in a single container. 

When pressurised with electric fans the double skinned fabric deploys to form a rigid but organically-shaped enclosure, covering a space 40m (130 feet) long by 15m (50 feet) at its widest point.


Artist impression of the inflatable structure.
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Notes to the editor

For further information please contact:

Tom Hughes
Tel: +44 775 195 8003

Images of the erected pavilion in use will be available at the same URL from 21st September, and further press release will be issued at that time.

Further information on 2hD architects

2hD is a creative architectural design practice based in Nottingham, UK. It is a three-person practice: Alina Hughes, Tom Hughes and Thibaut Devulder, who make inventive and friendly architectural spaces that create a strong sense of place for their clients and their community.

2hD contact:

Tom Hughes
Tel: +44 775 195 8003

Further information on inflatable designer/manufacturer Inflate

Inflate offers a range of award winning, architecturally stimulating structures that have been specifically designed to suit the portable and temporary events market.

Inflate contact:

Nick Crosbie
Tel: +44 797 692 7432

Further information on the Lille Museum of Modern Art (LaM)

After more than four years of renovation and extension work, the Museum of Modern Art of Lille Métropole (Villeneuve d’Ascq) will be reopening to the public on 25 September 2010 under a new name: the LaM,  Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut  (museum of modern, contemporary and outsider art). 

International press contact for LaM:

Laurence Gillion
Agence Heymann, Renoult Associées
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 61 76 76

LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut
1 allée du Musée, 59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Tel: +33 (0)3 20 19 68 68 
Fax: +33 (0)3 20 19 68 99