AirClad est. 2007
AirClad is the next generation of pre fabricated building products. the development of this system took 5 years to come to fruition and now offers the ultimate in creativity and structural performance.
AirClad has been born out of the demand by our clients for architecturally stimulating solutions to temporary and permanent buildings for all types of use. The structures are all modular, prefabricated solutions requiring only assembly on site.
AirClad is a platform to design and build buildings and has no pre conceived typology or limitations that could be attached by such and as a result there is an almost limitless possibility to options to fit out the interiors of the buildings and the external forms and finishes. AirClad structures are designed to be re-assembled as many times as needed.
AirClads can be built and erected permanently and have the capability to be engineered to hurricane force winds due to the unique monocoque structure created by the frame and inflated panels that clad the structure. This frame system also means that large concrete foundations are not needed and in many cases no fixings may be required at all such as the roof office pods we have completed. AirClad structures are light weight – as we have designed and edited the system to use minimal components to achieve the structural performance and look to the buildings.
Less is more in the case of AirClad. The flat packed nature of AirClad allows large buildings to be erected in places large portacabin type solutions could not.
All AirClad structures are offered with full engineering and planning permission if and when required.
Recently we launched the first range of off the shelf event focused structures under the eXpo name. These are now available to buy and rent across europe, and continue to develop more products to extend the eXpo system.
While this work maybe on a straightforward commercial basis we also undertake various collaborations bringing together more abstract opportunities along side our core strengths to deliver.
The development of new ideas takes many forms and is not restricted to portable buildings or AirClad. We are about observing and working on solutions with no boundaries to typology.
Opblaasbaar is based in antwerp. we have converted our own warehouse to become the creative hub of what we do, where we do it. It mixes studio with workshops as we develop everything from the perspective of production exploitation. we even have nick’s original welder that started inflate!
Antwerp is a dynamic, culturally and commercially optimistic city. It is small yet broad thinking. it is home to diamonds, fashion, chocolate, great beer and now it is home to Opblaasbaar and AirClad.
Antwerp is very well placed centrally in Europe with the design team embracing the opportunity to travel and take on projects all over Europe and rest of the world.
we remain focused on designing solutions we love
A selection of our clients
How Nick met Fred
Nick identified a vacuum for a high end event building system to take his learning from inflate forward. In 2007 the idea began to formulate through an unlikely project to clad a hotel in Dubai with inflatable cells. This project allowed him to see more of an architectural opportunity to the inflate systems, but realising a pure inflated form would not solve this.
In 2008 he produced the first sample now called ‘AirClad’ building for 100% design in London. The structure met with interest but no commitments. nick continued to make some more prototypes and experiments. He knew there was something in the AirClad but could not fully find the key, originally thinking the AirClad should be more home office / eco dwellings.
he continued to invest into a specific team within his studio to keep the project alive.
By 2010 AirClad gained its first project as an extension to a pizza restaurant in London. From this confidence grew in what AirClad could be. Not long after this project Nick was in contact with Puma and from that meeting the opportunity to take AirClad into high end events was born.
In 2011 Nick teamed up with Frederik and formed the Opblaasbaar design office based in Antwerp serving as the hub for AirClad product and brand development. This relationship allowed AirClad to develop and refine as a system. Successive high end brand event structures were produced which created the foundation to the experience thinking behind AirClad.
bB 2013 the refinement of AirClad and the move to manufacture locally in Antwerp has allowed the launch of AirClad eXpo the generation next for the events industry.
2013 also saw Nick and Frederik start work on a mobile hotel concept which launched in 2015 with plans to expand globally over the coming years.
Currently Nick and Frederik continue to refine the eXpo system working on a system of three story offices and in the corner of their work shop is the chassis of an electric car… did anyone mention Fred and Nick like cars?
design and refine
Opblaasbaar is an independent design studio established by Nick Crosbie and Frederik Van Hereveld, specializing in developing brands and products for social needs, events, living and lifestyle. Our experiences span over 20 years creating a huge range of award winning products from interiors and furniture to mobile buildings. in 2015 we launched possibly the worlds first mobile hotel on to the UK market.
Opblaasbaar has the exclusive license to design, develop and produce mobile building products with the patented AirClad system.
Recently we launched the first range of off the shelf event focused structures under the eXpo name. these are now available to buy and rent across Europe, and continue to develop more products to extend the eXpo system.
Opblaasbaar invests in its own design and development taking our ideas to market and proving their success, while refining to further strengthen the product. As a product or system is proven we look for commercial partners to help scale the brand or product to a larger market.
The development of new designs presents itself in different forms and is not limited to AirClad and mobile structures. We push ourselves in different directions and work on all types of projects that we find interesting and enjoyable.
Opblaasbaar and her sister company Inflate specialise in the creation of inflatable designs. Often joining together in development processes and projects.
Opblaasbaar is a collection of designers with many years of experience in mobile architecture.