architecture 10 ---

MW 003

The history of dirigibles shows a gap of 60 years. An advanced technology was brought to an end by the accident of Lakehurst. Not only the explosion of the Hindenburg, also the military strive for faster and manoeuvrable flying machines forced airships into worthlessness. It is only since the recent past, that big dirigibles have been designed and constructed again. Modern technologies, a different dealing with resources, their independence of traffic routes and airports, have made them economically far more interesting.
Yet, airships are capable of more than just netting profits. They are slow, quiet, and are able to stop anywhere. They glide through the air like fish swim in water. Dirigibles don’t fly, they float. It is our dream to live in the sky, independent of space. Our airship has not the classic form of a cigar. Integrating accommodation into the whole structure explains the upright cross-section in the front part and the horizontal cross-section in the rear part of the airship.
The MW 003/squid is an aquatic creature floating in the air. Gravity and buoyancy connect to an harmonic unity: the lift necessary is generated by a 81 meter long, helium filled hull, which the living space hangs from. This principle of a suspension has been continued in the interior and has also been applied to furnishing and structure. This principle is noticeable in each and every detail: the chairs, the tables, the beds, the kitchen too are hanging, and even for the floor a reverse bracing has been used. These constructions allow everything to be built fairly easily, as the items aren’t monocoque. With only few meters of rope, hanging chairs can be reduced to only a seating area. Are they to swing either more or less, they can additionally be braced to system points in the floor. We believe, that the navigation of an airship will be facilitated by systems like GPS and automated position-controls, and therefore should be easy to handle for anybody after having acquired a license (comparable to a driving-licence). The dirigible is permanently escorted by a small satellite. Like a detached head and equipped with stereoscope camera-system, microphone, and speaker, it takes reconnaissance flights, does the shopping, etc. Otherwise it is located in a certain device inside the belly of the ship for recharging.

Wassner, Moritsch, 2001

Honourable Mention, Adolf Loos State Prize for Design 2001, Category: Experimental Design, Vienna, Austria

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