The only surviving example in the UK of a domed Parashell roof, the Edinburgh Sports Dome in Malvern has been given a Grade I listingI by the government on the advice of English Heritage.
The dome was constructed using a pioneering technique in which liquid cement was poured onto a special neoprene membrane and then pneumatically inflated – in this case to a height of 11m. It only took one hour to complete the inflation and two weeks to complete the building.
“Malvern’s Edinburgh Sports Dome is an incredibly special building,” said English Heritage Head of Designation Roger Bowdler. “The Bini Dome (or Parashell) roof shows that Malvern was at the cutting-edge of international architecture in the 1970s. Its method of construction is rare internationally and unique in this country. It’s an elegant, successful, functional and thoroughly considered building that represents its period very well. It’s also remarkably intact.”
To create the building, architect Michael Godwin, with consulting engineer John Faber of Oscar Faber & Partners, successfully advanced Dr Dante Bini’s innovative design for the “Bini Dome”.It was built in 1977 and was opened in 1978 by the Duke of Edinburgh.