Frederick Lanchester and the invention of the air-supported roof

McLean, W. 2018. Frederick Lanchester and the invention of the air-supported roof. Wouters, I., van de Voorde, S., Bertels, I., Espion, B., de Jonge, K. and Zastavni, D. (ed.) Building Knowledge, Constructing Histories: Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress on Construction History. Brussels, Belgium 09 - 13 Jul 2018 CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

TitleFrederick Lanchester and the invention of the air-supported roof
AuthorsMcLean, W.
EditorsWouters, I., van de Voorde, S., Bertels, I., Espion, B., de Jonge, K. and Zastavni, D.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

In 1917 Frederick W. Lanchester (1868–1946) applied for the first UK patent for an air-supported structure, and in 1920 Lanchester registered another patent for an air-supported ‘domed’ exhibition hall with a proposed diameter of 329 m. Whilst neither of these structures were realised, both designs featured in key architectural publications and can be credited as the antecedents of an emerging technology. Lanchester, an engineer and polymath is best known for his work in automotive engineering, aeronautics and powered flight, and thanks to the recent publication of his archive, an analysis of his calculations and notebooks is now possible. The paper concludes by describing the subsequent development and realisation of air-supported and air-formed structures by engineer Walter Bird (1912–2006) and architect Dante Bini (1932-), and features previously unpublished archive diagrams and notes, documenting the invention of a remarkable new type of structural enclosure entirely supported by differential air pressure.

KeywordsFrederick W. Lanchester (1868–1946), Temporary Structures (UK, US, Japan), Air-Supported Structure (Inflatable), Mamoru Kawaguchi (1932-), Graham Stevens (1944-)
Year2018
ConferenceBuilding Knowledge, Constructing Histories: Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress on Construction History
PublisherCRC Press, Taylor & Francis
Publication dates
Published04 Jul 2018
Journal citationpp. 921-926
Book titleBuilding Knowledge, Constructing Histories: Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Construction History (6ICCH 2018), July 9-13, 2018, Brussels, Belgium,Vol. 2
ISBN9781138332355

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