An experimental 3D-printed dwelling made of local earth
With about 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, mostly concentrated in the poorest countries, governments are now faced with a considerable challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks, among other things, to provide access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services.
In this context, the implications of new constructive processes – of which 3D printing is currently the most advanced technology – are far-reaching. With the possibility to print a house in a small fraction of the time required by traditional processes, while also significantly reducing waste and emissions, a deep rethink of the concept of house becomes increasingly strategic.
With this in mind, and following the visions of both companies, MC A – Mario Cucinella Architects and WASP have therefore embarked in the conception and design of a new sustainable habitat that aims at proposing itself as an innovative housing concept. Such concept, named TECLA after a city imagined by Italo Calvino in “The Invisible Cities”, articulates upon the possibility of creating a new operational chain that bases its sustainable strategy on the elimination of waste along the process. The printing material chosen for the first prototype is local earth.
TECLA is conceived as a basic cell, whose shape and physical characteristics can change according to local climate and context, that can be varingly aggregated in order to better fit within the different locations. The prototype is built in Massa Lombarda (RA) is an example of how this concept might evolve and contaminate the space around it. It is composed of two domes compenetrating each-other and hosting a living open-space area and a bedroom space equipped with a small toilet. Outside, a small lake collects waste and rain waters to be reused for the garden, while another cell, featuring solar and thermal panels, provides clean energy to the building, thus potentially making of it a fully off-grid home.
Prototype: TECLA – Technology and Clay – Via Castelletto 104/06, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy
Prototype Typology: 3D Printed Ecologic House
Architectural and Furniture Design: Mario Cucinella Architects, Bologna, Italy
Architectural and Furniture Design Team: Mario Cucinella Architects: Mario Cucinella (Founder and creative director) Augusto Barichello, Irene Giglio (project manager)
Sustainability Research: SOS – School of Sustainability, Bologna (Postgraduate Training Center founded by Mario Cucinella) Lorenzo Porcelli, Stefano Rosso, Lori Zillante
3D Multi-Printer Technology Project: WASP, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy
3D Multi-Printer Technology Project Info: 200 printing hours, 7000 G-codes, 350/12 mm layers, 150 km of extrusion, 60 cubic meters of natural materials for less than 6 kW of average electricity consumption.
3d model/Images: SOS – School of Sustainability, Bologna, Italy
Phisical model: WASP, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy
Visual: Mario Cucinella Architects, Bologna, Italy
Construction site photo WASP, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna
Photos: Iago Corazza
Landscape Setting Project: Frassinago, Bologna, Italy
Self-Supporting Structure Project: Milan Ingegneria, Milan, Italy
Lighting Project: Lucifero’s, Bologna, Italy
Construction: WASP, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy; TER Costruzioni, Bologna, Italy
Construction supervision and Safety Management: WASP, Massa Lombarda, Ravenna, Italy
Structure infilling material: Local soil
Clay quantity per unit: 60 cbm
Infilling optimization in 3D printing phase: Mapei, Milan, Italy
Infilling biomaterial: Rice House, Andorno Micca, Biella, Italy
Earthen floor: Primat, Occhieppo Inferiore, Biella, Italy
Doors and windows: Capoferri Serramenti, Adrara San Martino, Bergamo, Italy
Wood finishes: Imola Legno, Imola, Bologna, Italy
Table recycled wood: Saib, Caorso, Piacenza, Italy
Fabrics: Orange Fiber, Catania, Italy
Seats: Officine Tamborrino, Ostuni, Brindisi, Italy
Net Area: 45 sqm
Gross Area: 60 sqm