Saturday, May 9, 2009

Solution to a Flint Fantasy: Inflatable Buildings

The German architecture firm Raumlabor brings Spacebuster to NYC.

I know Flint has enough real worries without having to deal with hypothetical problems. But what happens if the city, in its zeal to downsize, overdoes it? Then, when the Flint economy finally blossoms, we'll be left with a housing shortage. (Let's not speculate on what will prompt Flint's economic miracle; I'm not that much of a visionary.) People from the southwest might flood Flint when their water supply dries up, along with their jobs. If that ever happens, inflatable buildings may be the answer.

A Daily Dose of Architecture has a nice overview of bulbous inflatable structures that bring back memories of John Travolta's 1976 made-for-TV classic The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. At least we have one of the potential problems of an economic boom solved.


  1. Actually greater Flint has already had at least three long-term inflatible buildings. One near the corner of Grand Blanc Road and US-23 is an ongoing concern, providing various weatherproof sports fields and other facilities. An indoor golf driving range on Lapeer Road alongside I-69 went broke a couple of years ago, after suffering from a combination of insufficient revenue, excessively deferred maintenance and repeated storm damage. I believe there's a third sports-related facility in the northern suburbs.

  2. Würstside WarlørdMay 10, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    There was also an inflatable tennis dome on Elms Rd. Couple this with the Burton Golf Dome and the bullet riddled fabri-dam and you have a predictably Flint-like take on the inflatable architecture revolution. Been there, deflated that.

    Heck, just down the road in Pontiac is the 8th Wonder of the inflatable world. The soon to be popped Silverdome.

  3. Oh, yeah, the fabri-dam. Forgot that one.

    I thought half the holes were due to arrow and knife wounds? Not that it matters.

  4. Gordo-

    You are off your rocker if you think putting a clip from the "Bubble Boy" on your blog is appropriate. That's just incorrect, man. My boss is sending me for a drug test because I check this site daily.

  5. Hey, when you write about bubbles, you have to include video of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. There was a lot of discussion of that movie among the kids on Delmar, Humbolt and Basset.

    And I never realized how many inflatable buildings Flint had.

  6. Yes, it must be a generational thing... but that 'boy in the plastic bubble' did make an impression on myself as well, and I didn't even see the movie.


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