FAR (After Oase N.7)

47 years after Haus-Rucker-Co’s Oase N. 7 burst through the facade of the Fridericianum in Kassel as part of Documenta 5, an exhibition at Nilufar Depot showcasing a new generation of designers became an opportunity to revisit one of the most iconic architectural interventions of the 20th century. Our reinterpretation of this seminal project, that acts as a backdrop to the work of a radical new generation of designers selected by Studio Vedét, revisits the concept of the “living envelope” in the age of Zorb balls, high-performance polymers and Alibaba. Like the materials and technologies it pioneered, which at the time were new and are now normal, this installation suggests the Oase and the ideas of temporality it stood for could have finally come of age.

FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot
Haus-Rucker-Co, Oase No. 7 (1972), in Kassel. Image courtesy Ortner & Ortner Baukunst

/ Bubbles


Today we are seeing more and more bubbles and trends of transparency. As the political and environmental climate creates enclosures and filters, we are seeing this resonate within the art, fashion and design world.

Haus-Rucker-Co, Grüne Lunge (Green Lung), 1973. Courtesy Archive Zamp Kelp. Photo: Haus-Rucker-Co

The bubble is a space of comfort and protection. One wraps a fragile material in bubble wrap before mailing. The bubble can become a complete environment, safe from the elements, a new world.

/ Nilufar Bubble


Taking inspiration from Hans Rucker Co’s : Oase N.7 and Reyner Banham and François Dallegret's illustrations of Environment Bubble in A Home is not a House. We proposed to attach inflatable bubble environments to the existing structural levels of Nilufar Gallery to showcase the works in the exhibition FAR.

“When your house contains such a complex of piping, flues, ducts, wires, lights, inlets, outlets, ovens, sinks, refuse disposers, hi-fi reverberators, antennae, conduits, freezers, heaters – when it contains so many services that the hardware could stand up by itself without any assistance from the house, why have a house to hold it up?” - Reyner Banham

Haus-Rucker-Co, Oase Nr. 7 (Oasis No. 7), installation at Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany, 1972. Photo: Carl Eberth/©documenta Archives
The Environment Bubble, A Home is not a House, Reyner Banham and François Dallegret
FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot

“Your very own living planet, made of plastic and functioning like an electric light bulb. Plug it into the sockets of existing urban frameworks and appreciate life in three dimensions, immersed in the surrounding environment.” — Haus-Rucker-Co

/ Ready Made


The bubbles represent an episode in experimentation, something that decades ago seemed something impossible, now they are a reality and you can easily buy them in the internet.

Testing bubble in Space Caviar courtyard

What is architecture if not the fundamental, primordial, instinctive impulse to construct an environment? To control the conditions within which time unfolds, to build a stage for the act of living life... Architecture is not a matter of materials or technologies - it is the expression of an almost obsessive interest in the question of human behavior.

/ Structural Elements


A catwalk and stage made of standard tubular steel sections are projected through the balcony of Nilufar Depot into the transparent sphere. A tubular steel ring is fixed to the footbridge. This ring forms the external support for a plastic shell forming a sphere when inflated into shape by an air pump. Two spheres link together to create a zone of transition between the bubble environments and gallery. Together with Space World Air and GISTO we developed a design strategy that could bring this unique installation to the space of Nilufar Depot.

Study models for FAR (After Oase N.7) - Space Caviar
Study models for FAR (After Oase N.7) - Space Caviar
Study models for FAR (After Oase N.7) - Space Caviar

/ Installation Views


In the uncanny and somewhat bewildering universe of FAR, projects converge that share an obsession with membranes, films, coatings and epidermises, or with forms developed through processes of almost geological stratification and layering, of which the purpose is intentionally left unclear. In response to this preoccupation with the theme of wrapping that unites many of the works in the show, the exhibition design revisits and pays homage to some of the most radical experiments of the twentieth century on the same theme in the architectural field, creating a dialogue with the design perspective of a new generation, and establishing a relationship of tension and infiltration with the existing space.

FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot
FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot
FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot
FAR (After Oase N.7) - Nilufar Depot

“Architecture made of air: a technical return to the roots of building. What possibilities! Changing a society just by the fact that it now finds itself in a softly flowing environment: gliding into a different way of thinking on gentle wings.” - Haus-Rucker-Co


Design team:
Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Sofia Pia Belenky, Francesco Lupia, Camilo Oliveira)

Design development:

Metal fabrication:
Marcello Comoglio

Technical Partner (Inflatables):
Space World Air

Nina Yashar

Exhibition curator:
Valentina Ciuffi / Studio Vedet


Nilufar Depot
Viale Lancetti 34 Milano