Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed Pavilions

2020-01-17

Tessa Blokland  

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What I like about 3D printing is that over the years it has evolved from 3D printing objects limited by the size of a 3D printer to parts that extend the 3D printer and become small buildings or quite impressive constructions. Here are some examples of 3D printed pavilions, either created as a sum of small parts or built around a 3D printer instead of in one.

Rael San Fratello, led by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello (you might know them as well from Emerging Objects), has created 4 3D-printed open pavilions, exploring different techniques for mud construction. The construction of the pavilions is inspired by historical earthen construction built along the Rio Grande river. The mud used comes from the soil the constructions are 3D printed on. The goal of the project, Mud Frontiers, is to demonstrate low-cost and low-labor construction that is accessible, economical and as safe as possible.

Another impressive 3D printed pavilion was constructed for fashion brand COS as part of the Milan Design Week in April 2019. The brand partnered with architect Arthur Mamou-Mani and his team to create Conifera, an installation made from 3D printed bioplastic bricks, using the large format WASP 3MT 3D printer.

Based in Dubai is MEAN* (Middle East Architecture Network), who designed Deciduous, a 3D printed pavilion placed in front of the Dubai International Financial Center. The pavilion aims to invite locals and visitors to explore the possibilities of sustainable technologies, such as 3D printing with concrete, as well as with plastic polymers, recycled from 30,000 discarded water bottles.

What you see here and at the top are images of the interior of Airmesh, a structure made with 3D printed stainless steel nodes. The pavilion was designed by AIRLAB, a Singapore-based architectural research lab, with strong connections with the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The construction is the result of 5 years of research and 2 days of building. The research and pavilion helped the lab gain more insights into unlocking the possibilities for future architectural designs like transportation hubs, large span roofs, and even skyscrapers.

The last 3D printed pavilion comes from Nanjing-based architectural practice AZL Architects. What I find fascinating is, as Alyn Griffiths at Dezeen points out: “The structure aims to demonstrate how modern manufacturing processes could be used to counteract issues such as an increasing lack of skilled labor and professional project managers in rural communities. The 400 plastic blocks units were produced in one month by three separate suppliers in Beijing and Nanjing. Two inexperienced villagers were then able to assemble the pavilion in just three days”. With a good design and thanks to 3D printing, it is possible to have inexperienced workers build such a pavilion. Amazing!

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Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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