Big Air Package: The Largest Inflated Envelope in History by Christo
Big Air Package is the latest project from artist Christo installed at the Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany, a facility that still holds the record as the largest disc-type gas holder in Europe that was converted into an exhibition hall in the 1990s. Big Air Package is the largest ever inflated envelope without aid of a skeleton (Gasometer Oberhausen bills it as “the largest indoor sculpture in history”) and reaches 90 meters high, with a diameter of 50 meters and a volume of 177,000 cubic meters. The work was conceived in 2010 and is Christo’s first major work after the passing of his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude in 2009. Via the official press release:
Big Air Package, Project for Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany was conceived in 2010 by Christo and will be on view from March 16 to December 30, 2013. The sculpture, which is installed inside the former gas tank, was made from 20,350 square meters of semitransparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope. The inflated envelope is 90 meters high and 50 meters in diameter. It has a total weight of 5.3 tons and a volume of 177,000 cubic meters. […] The “Big Air Package” nearly spans the distance from wall to wall of the Gasomter, leaving only a small passage to walk around the sculpture. Two air fans creating a constant pressure of 27 pascal (0.27 millibar) keep the package upright. Airlocks allow visitors to enter the package. Illuminated through the skylights of the Gasometer and 60 additional projectors, the work of art creates a diffuse light throughout the interior. Inside the sculpture, an extraordinary experience of shape, space and light is provided.
Christo says that “when experienced from the inside, that space is almost like a 90-meter-high cathedral,” which is easy to see just looking at these incredible images. The installation opened this weekend and will remain on view through December 2013. You can see many more photos courtesy Wolfgang Volz here. (via farewell kingdom)
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You'll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!