This strange building technique was pioneered by Nicoló’s father Dante, who built the first Binishell in 1964, which is still standing today. As the concrete sets around the form and structural support, an air pump is used to fill the bladder beneath. The concrete rises to reach its final shape, after which the bladder is deflated and removed for reuse. The tiny bubble-shaped structures are meant to be permanent homes and, according to Nicoló, have survived extreme conditions such as lava, ash, and earthquakes on Mount Etna for 50 years.
Nicolo Bini company built over 1,600 Binishells across the globe, ranging from those 120 feet in diameter to tiny bungalows built in developing countries. Nicoló has devised three new models of the Binishell and he believes that the structures can be implemented to different typologies-schools, military bases, and stadiums. The concrete mixes and rebar can be locally sourced or bought almost anywhere with a cost of $3,500.