London 2012 Opening Ceremony Athletes Tunnel
Architen Landrell were approached by London 2012 ceremonies in early June to submit quotation for an inflatable tunnel through which athletes would enter the Olympic Stadium for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
The 9m wide x 5.5m high x 33m long tunnel is made up of connected, inflated fabric cushions creating airtight pockets which form the shape of the structure. The exterior of the tunnel is a pale grey to avoid glare created during television coverage while the internal fabric is white and features integrated LED lighting. The dual membrane structure is inflated in minimum time using 8 powerful air handling units.
Not only did the very tight timeframe (you can’t delay the opening ceremony!) make this an interesting project, a key design requirement stipulated that the tunnel must inflate and deflate in less than 3 minutes. In order to ensure an easy deflation, chunky zips were included in the design to allow the trapped air to escape quickly and help to reduce deflation times.