Rising to the challenge of an inflatable refugee centre


It took just four days to supply a membrane that helped build a giant inflatable refugee shelter in Paris.

900 M2

Mehgies Valmex 7211


days’ delivery

Refugee crisis

In 2016, more refugees were on their way to France – and there were plans to move the country’s temporary refugee ‘jungle’. So Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and NGO Emmaüs France set out to build Paris’ first official ‘humanitarian’ migrant camp and reception centre in the city’s 18th arrondissement. They gave architect Julien Beller one month to design and erect it.

An inflating idea

To meet the tight deadline, textile architect Hans Walter Müller suggested making the shelter inflatable. Having worked with us for 20 years, Müller was convinced our sturdy membranes would rise to the challenge. Within just four days, we supplied 900m² of our Valmex 7211 membrane to the site, meeting the one-month build deadline.


Paris, France


Visit Mehgies


Mehgies Valmex 7211 membrane

Warm welcome

Known as ‘La Bulle’, the giant inflatable structure is at the heart of the refugee camp. It acts as a reception hall, where migrants can get information and advice – and speak with translators. Striking and sturdy, the structure welcomes migrants seeking a better life.