Competition entry for the Dawntown 2011; this project was a design for the a floating stage to be used in parallel with the Miami Marine Stadium proposes a three volume pneumatic (air-inflated) structure that would be light weight, easily transportable, easily assembled and disassembled, durable and aesthetically dynamic. The idea for the stage is one of inclusion; by transforming the stage from simple a platform for performance to a multivolume assemblage of event spaces the proposed design may incorporate a variety of activities and experiences.

This particular iteration includes three distinct formal volumes each with a separate specific use: 1. the saddle (which functions as the primary bandstand); 2. the dome (which functions as a dance hall); 3. the pyramid (which functions as a VIP lounge). These three basic volume types may be used individually or recombined in different combinations to allow for maximum variety of use. One can image that the different aggregations of the volumes could be dispersed around the various waterfront locations throughout the city (Miami River, Miami Beach, Bayfront park, etc.) accommodating smaller more local events, however, there is also the potential for these smaller groupings to be combined together at one location for larger scale annual events that may require multiple stages and venues of performance at the same time.

The diagrams below describe the basic geometric strategy for the project relying on the three fundamental forms of the saddle, the dome and the pyramid. Since the proposed pneumatic method of construction is highly flexible in relationship to the specific geometry it may create one can take these three basic shapes and develop a variety of potential volumes able to not only accommodate different types of entertainment and performance, but also may provide unique and interesting spatial configurations. Through the different aggregation of these varieties an immense number of potential organizations may be developed.

As mentioned above the proposal incorporates the use of pneumatic elements to create the volumes and enclosure of the volumes. These tube elements are light weight easily inflated in a matter of hours with compressors similar to leaf blowers and are easily fabricated and prepared offsite prior to erection ot the structure. The volumes are comprised entirely of air-inflated tubes organized side by side in parallel and tied together through the use of connection straps. These straps connect the tubes together into pairs, by offsetting the straps from one to the next each tube is tied the tube on either side of it creating a redundant parallel tube network. This parallel network is then connected to the base tubes that run horizontally underneath through the use of additional strapping elements; these base tubes are in turn strapped together adjacently to one another as well as to the larger pontoon tubes below. The pontoon tubes become the primary floating elements and are thus larger and inflated to a higher internal pressure. Additionally, to address the issue of uplift from local winds a secondary cable net is attached overtop of the parallel tubes and is fastened back to connectors attached to the pontoons, these cables run along the ridge lines as well as diagonally across the structure. Lastly a translucent membrane (either made of vinyl or ETFE) covers the volume to provide relative enclosure from the external elements. Should there be occasion of extreme weather the entire parallel tube structure could simply be deflated and tied down to avoid potential damage or accident.

Project Type: Dawntown Miami Competition
Date: 2011
Location: Miami, FL
Material: PVC tubing, ETFE sheet, nylon tie-downs
Project Team: Ryan Ludwig

For more information on the competition see Dawntown.org