Each luminarium is a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes where Islamic architecture, Archimedean solids and Gothic cathedrals meld into an inspiring monument to the beauty of light and colour.
The luminaria are designed by company founder, Alan Parkinson, who started experimenting with pneumatic sculptures in the I980s. They are made of a plastic produced uniquely for Architects of Air. Only four colours of plastic are used to generate a great diversity of subtle hues.
Each luminarium is an original design. The principal difference between the different luminaria is found in the rendering of the domes and in the layout of the tunnels.
The domes are the large chambers rising up to 10 metres high that provide the focal points. The tunnels connect the domes and determine the journey the visitor will take. The luminaria also feature ‘pods’ - alcoves where people can sit and relax out of the way of the other visitors.
Each luminarium is made up of around 20 elements that are zipped together on site to typically occupy an area of 1000 square metres. Easy to erect, laying out the structure and anchoring can take as little as 4 hours then, in just 20 minutes, the luminarium is inflated to its monumental size.
Architects of Air are currently touring 6 luminaria – Arboria - Pentalum, Exxopolis, Miracoco, Mirazozo and Amococo.
Architects of Air’s 22nd luminarium, Arboria, is dedicated to the theme of ‘trees’. It is unusual for a luminarium design to approach a theme and in the case of Arboria the theme is not taken so literally that it could become a distraction from the fundamental luminarium experience – that of encountering the phenomena of light and colour in a remarkable environment...>> more
Built in 2013, Pentalum is conceived to be a homage to the pentagon in its different guises. The pentagonal theme is even carried through to the new designs of tent and airlock, all elements being ingeniously designed to be fit in a hexagonal matrix that allows many different configurations. One element, the Main Dome, departs from the pentagonal theme by being a seven-sided heptagon....>> more
Built in 2012, the name acknowledges Eggopolis, Architects of Air’s first luminarium, the ‘gg’ having been replaced by ‘XX’ to refer to the 20th luminarium design and the 20th anniversary of the company.The principal dome – the CUPOLA - was inspired by the circular space of the Chapter House of Southwell Minster. In partnership with Lakeside Arts Centre local (Nottingham) community groups were enlisted in the ‘Windows Project’ workshops to make the intricate ‘stained glass’ windows of the EXXOPOLIS CUPOLA based on a tiling design by Sir Roger Penrose. ...>> more
Built in 2011, Miracoco represents a new step in the evolution of luminarium design. Taking the best from what we have learnt from earlier structures we’ve achieved greater control over the inflated form. Functionally this means improvements in safety and in modularity but, most importantly, this new luminarium promises to be one of the most visually exciting that we have built....>> more
Mirazozo was completed beginning 2010. It will feature several dodecahedral domes and a large central dome – the largest open space structure that Architects of Air will have built. This central dome will be particularly suitable for hosting performances…..>> more
Amococo was built in 2008 and is the biggest of the AoA luminaria at over 1000 square metres. From the outside the structure looks organic- the undulations of the domed passageways are aesthetically at one with the domes rising at their junctions…..>> more