Blog of James Robinson
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Deep Inside Sainte Marie Madeleine

The Lotus Dome is a living wall composed of smart foils that fold open in response to human behavior. Walking by the lotus hundreds of aluminum foils unfold themselves in an organic way; generating transparent voids between private and public.

The smart Lotus foil is specially developed by Studio Roosegaarde and their manufacturers, and is made from several thin layers of Mylar that fold open and close when touched by light. This high-tech craftsmanship is similar to the innovative thinking of the church’s architecture of the 16th century.


Lotus Dome is created for the city of Lille and its locals. The purpose was to activate the beautiful but deserted Renaissance building, and make the architecture become more alive and contemporary. This dynamic relation between people and technology is what Roosegaarde calls ‘Techno-Poetry’. “Lotus Dome functions as a mediator, connecting elements of architecture and nature, of the past and the future,” he says.


The project was awarded with the Media Architecture Award 2012 in the category of Future Trends.