Bubble Building by DUS Architects

The interactive installation was made from soap bubbles.

ROTTERDAM – DUS Architects realized the epitome of temporality in an installation that occupied a public square in Rotterdam for two weeks.

Known for its use of unconventional materials, DUS created Bubble Building out of soap bubbles, the most transient fabric imaginable, for the ZigZagCity architecture festival. There was a catch, however; visitors had to build the structure themselves.

‘For us, architecture is an instrument for bringing people together,’ says architect Hedwig Heinsman. ‘Bubble Building illustrates this philosophy. It can’t exist without public participation.’

Consisting of 16 metal-framed hexagonal cells – forms found in naturally shaped bubble clusters – the pavilion revealed itself only when a number of people collectively raised the reflective stainless-steel frames to make iridescent soap-bubbly walls appear – which glistened in the sunlight until they burst. According to the architects, the cells can be reconfigured to produce different shapes.

Bubble Building referenced the reconstruction of Rotterdam after World War II, a city with the resilience to pick up and start over – as often as it takes.

Photos courtesy of DUS Architects