The proposal takes the term “second skin” very literally. I propose to attach a structure to all walls that holds – in a defined distance – a duplicate of the given architectural structure. This second layer around the building is made out of latex (or another highly flexible material). All doors, windows and gates are cut out and stay fully functional. Air will be blown in the space between the concrete walls and the second layer. The latex skin will inflated and the complete building will change dramatically. The perpendicular structure will transform into something more natural. The air will find its way to large areas that will inflate to large bumps and smaller areas that will only get out of square. The building that is visible for the neighbors and passer-by since many years will be transformed into something new and spectacular.

The flexible skin that can act or interact with the work of the pumps inside. A connection between the water flow rate and the pressure of the balloon skin is one option. Or the building can breathe and pretend to be alive. Or a combination of both: The building breathes faster or slower in connection with the water flow rate. The more the pumps are forced to work, the heavier the house must breathe.

To avoid the connotation of a fat house – aka to transform the building into something human – the color of the skin is important. The pink selected for the model seems to be a good choice, it gives the alien touch – with no chance for misinterpretations.

model inflated by human breath

competition website
download presentation boards (PDF) english 11 MB
download Dawntown Briefing (PDF) english 4 MB
Erwin Wurm’s Fat House
Article Miami Herald

Images model




see breathing movie (Mp4 3MB)

Images building