The Bell Cloud (2022)

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Client: The Bell Inn
Structural Engineer: Format Engineers
Location: Bath, United Kingdom

Date: 2022-07-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: Fabric, membrane, inflatable, Digital Design, Parametric Design, CNC

The Bell Cloud

The Bell is a historic free house and music pub on the edge of Bath city centre: it is owned by around 500 of its customers, fans and workers under IPS CoOperative rules. The pub approached Format Engineers to design a temporary and demountable canopy over their back garden, a popular space and one sometimes used for events. The brief Wass for a canopy which as economic, easy to erect and to the down and to be unique.

The alternative ethos of the pub and its status as a focus of the arts community inn the city was to be echoed in a unique design. We proposed an inflatable membrane structure ‘The cloud’. Part inspired by soap bubbles and part by the incongruity of a cloud protecting drinkers from the rain the structure spanned clear across the garden space and was light enough to be erected within minutes by two people. We carried out extensive 3d modelling and form finding to create a shape which was a natural reaction to the constrained support locations.