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Listing for sports dome created on inflatable formwork

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. 

Readers' comments (4)

  • Let's face it -- the Lions could suit up eight players from a local high-school squad and a few from the varsity softball team and have a better defensive unit than they did during last season's 0-16 nightmare. But they have the chance to be more than just "improved" in '09. There's a shot they actually are pretty darn good.

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  • Let's face it -- the Lions could suit up eight players from a local high-school squad and a few from the varsity softball team and have a better defensive unit than they did during last season's 0-16 nightmare. But they have the chance to be more than just "improved" in '09. There's a shot they actually are pretty darn good.

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  • http://www.short-stories.co.uk/

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  • The'Edinburgh' Dome was built for the Malvern Girls college as a sports hall- we at the local comp sixth form were invited to spend sunday afternoons there using the courts and hall with the 'gels'. You had to descend stairs into the squash courts which were placed at the outer part of the hall, they clearly had to drop the floor level of these as, surprise surprise, the dome walls curved inwards. The hall was noisy in patches due to reflected sound, but amusing to see the startled reaction of people new to the hall who would hear voices - apparently right next to them- when alone in that part of the hall!
    There were also serious water leaks in the concrete skin, and worries-some years later in the NCE as i recall- about lightning strike running through the rebar and bursting the concrete- a case had happened elsewhere in the world at that time.

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