The next few months will see us undertake some weather-related projects. We've been getting Garsington Opera Pavillion ready for summer and next week we're off to Chatsworth House to rebuild the Great Conservatory with Inflate in preparation for the RHS Flower Show.
This got us thinking about how the weather plays such a huge part in what we do. Take Lumiere London 2018 as an example. Staging such a large scale outdoor event in the very middle of winter is always going to throw some challenges at us. Some of these, we were able to take measures to overcome. The giant sphere that we installed across Oxford Circus, for example....within that sphere was a heater that would melt any snow that fell on it. As you can imagine, without the heater, had a significant quantity of snow fallen, it would have made the sphere significantly heavier and the results could have been catastrophic.
When we rig things like this, we take the winds into account and we rig accordingly. But nothing could have prepared us for the gales that hit London during Lumiere. We don’t like being beaten, but safety is our number one priority and so for the first night of the event, the sphere wasn’t installed.
Similarly last year, our first time working at Chatsworth House, strong winds actually shut the show on the first day it was open to visitors. We’d calculated for every eventuality – after all – no-one wants to see a giant inflatable dome being lifted off the ground, and as we were sure it would, the dome stayed put.
The structure, which we will re-install later this month boasts eight legs – each requiring 18 tonnes of resistance per leg. We’d normally achieve this using ballast, but because of the nature of the site and the way the structure is being used, we use Platipus ground anchors to provide the resistance. And that’s not including the additional 100 tonne of resistance that’s required around the edge of the inflatable.
 We pride ourselves on being able to achieve the impossible, but, when Mother Nature decides to put us to the test, we really are pushed to our limits.

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