Inflatable structures such as balloons and airships have been known for many years, but not until 1917 was the first patent for pneumatic architecture taken out by Frederick William Lanchester (1868–1946), brother of H. V. Lanchester, and manufacturer of the Lanchester motor car. With the development (1940s) of the Radome (Radar Dome) to provide protection for microwave antennae, the manufacture of pneumatic structures evolved further, structural stability being achieved by air or gas pressure on some kind of membrane or bag, so pneumatic structures are usually curved, often domes or cylinders, or some other form compatible with pressurized construction. Pneumatic buildings have been used for exhibitions, covering stadia, and even formwork for concrete structures. Pneumatic architecture has been proposed by Cedric Price, Haus-Rucker-Co, and the Utopie Group, among others.
Dent (1971);Dessauce (ed.) (1999);T. Herzog (1977);Klotz (ed.) (1986);Lim & Liu (eds.)(2002);Price (1971);Topham (2002);