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Binishells: Do You Know About This Budget-Friendly Trend For Building Homes?

Discover Binishells, the groundbreaking architectural innovation known for rapid, cost-effective construction of dome-shaped structures.

Edited By : Mayank Kasyap | Updated: Sep 19, 2023 16:27 IST
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Binishell Homes (Photo Credit: Instagram/Binishell)
Binishell Homes (Photo Credit: Instagram/Binishell)

New Delhi: Imagine structures that defy conventional construction methods, rising like bubbles through the power of air pressure. Meet Binishells, a groundbreaking architectural innovation invented by Dante Bini in the 1960s. These reinforced concrete thin-shell structures have left an indelible mark on 23 countries with over 1,600 installations.

Breathtakingly efficient

Binishells are renowned for their rapid and cost-effective construction of dome-shaped, monolithic, and reinforced shell structures. While the method involves sophisticated equipment, it remains one of the swiftest and most economical ways to create such awe-inspiring architectural marvels.

 

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Evolution of Binishells

The original Binishells, circular in plan, gain their strength from a network of springs and rebars. Remarkably, these structures can often be erected in less than an hour. The concept stems from air structure technology, akin to inflating a balloon. Dante Bini drew inspiration from pneumatic air-supported tennis domes, culminating in the first Binishell’s construction in 1965. It boasted a 12-meter diameter, 6-meter height, and was elevated using Bini’s patented pneumatic formwork.

 

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Versatility beyond imagination

Binishells have found applications in diverse sectors, from educational institutions and residential housing to tourist villages, sports arenas, storage facilities, silos, and even discothèques. A notable example is the 1978 sports hall for Malvern Girls College, measuring a sizable 36 meters in diameter.

 

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The minishell innovation

Dante Bini introduced the Minishell, a smaller 8-meter by 8-meter shell structure, offering a more budget-friendly alternative. In 1971, Australia witnessed the construction of several Binishells under a government initiative for multi-purpose centers. In 1980, Bini employed Minishells to create a tourist village in Cairns, Australia.

 

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A sustainable rebirth

Today, Nicoló Bini, AIA, Dante Bini’s son, spearheads the revival of the Binishell system. The renewed approach includes enhanced architectural adaptability, adherence to international building codes, streamlining construction processes, and integration of cutting-edge materials and passive heating/cooling technologies. Binishells are now celebrated as a sustainable building technology, boasting one-third of the environmental impact over their lifespan.

 

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A resurgence of innovation

After their zenith in the late 1970s, Binishells are once again captivating the world with their revolutionary construction technique. These structures, born from a whimsical game of tennis beneath an inflatable roof, have graced Australia, Afghanistan’s deserts as grain silos, and even stood resilient atop Mount Etna to shield seismographs during earthquakes and eruptions. Dante Bini’s proudest creation, perhaps, is La Cupola in Sardinia, a tribute to the romance between Michelangelo Antonioni and actress Monica Vitti, a love story captured in the architecture of a living sculpture.

First published on: Sep 19, 2023 04:26 PM IST

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