The architecture and construction industry has undergone a transformation with the integration of various digital tools, now indispensable to the design process. The welcoming of technologies has effectively streamlined operations, enhanced efficiency, and elevated design quality. This digital shift, however, has resulted in a digital divide that goes beyond accessibility to tools and software. It also encompasses the crucial aspect of integrating traditional and indigenous communities into the urban development landscape. Can advancing technology support the growth of vernacular architecture? Can indigenous building practices find a place in the vision for a digitalized future?
3D Printing: The Latest Architecture and News
For many years, often spoken in tones of anticipation and excitement, we have heard that 3D printing will revolutionize the architecture industry as we know it. But if we stop for a moment, reflect on the present and look back at the past, it becomes evident that the technology has long been reshaping the field, continuously undergoing profound transformations and ushering in new eras of design, construction and spatial creativity. Operating as a layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process, 3D printing uses digital models to create customized three-dimensional objects with a remarkable level of precision and efficiency, saving time, generating zero waste, reducing labor costs and opening avenues for rapid prototyping and iterative design. It enables architects to explore creative opportunities and regain autonomy by designing complex, non-standardized elements within an industrial and mass-customized process.
"Architecture as a Framework for the Life That We Want to Live": Bjarke Ingels Explains Hedonistic Sustainability and the New Bauhaus
During the opening keynote at the UIA 2023 World Congress of Architects, Bjarke Ingels, the lead and founder of BIG, shared insights into pressing global challenges along with the office’s distinctive approach to addressing them. After the conference, ArchDaily had the chance to sit down with Bjarke Ingels to further expand on these topics. The discussion touched on a number of subjects, including BIG’s approach to design, based on their principle of “Hedonistic Sustainability,” the meaning and opportunities behind this change in mentality, the inter-applicability of technological innovations across different fields and even across planets, and the need to develop a New European Bauhaus as a response to the emerging environmental necessities.
BIG, ICON, and Lennar Complete the First 3D-Printed Model House at the Wolf Ranch Community in Austin, Texas
The first 3D-printed model home built by ICON and Lennar and co-designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is now open for visits at the 100-home community of Wolf Ranch in the city of Georgetown, near Austin, Texas. The house is part of the largest-scale development of 3D-printed homes in the world, currently under construction. Several of the homes have already been sold. With more than 80 of the home sites actively under construction and nearing completion, the first homeowners are scheduled to move in this September.
BIG Reveals Concept for a Self-Sufficient Off-Grid Island for Experimental Clothing Brand in Nova Scotia, Canada
BIG has partnered with experimental clothing brand Vollebak to create the vision for a self-sufficient off-grid island in Nova Scotia, Canada. The 11-acre Vollebak Island will receive several pavilions built of natural and innovative materials such as seaweed, hempcrete, and 3D-printed concrete, all powered by carbon-neutral energy. The island, located in Jeddore Harbor, one quarter off the Nova Scotia mainland, will be auctioned via Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions beginning June 8. Bidders will vie for the chance to own the island and to be granted exclusive rights to the design vision, including the planning permission for those designs.
Harnessing the power of moldless manufacturing through large-scale robotic 3D printing, research at ETH Zürich in collaboration with FenX AG delves into the use of cement-free mineral foam made from recycled waste. The objective is to build wall systems that are monolithic, lightweight, and immediately insulated, minimizing material use, labor requirements, and associated costs.
How are contemporary homes pushing the boundaries of innovation for the future? Currently, these spaces tend towards clean lines, neutral colors and flexible spaces, with the integration of technological features and automation. But even though there are certain timeless features that define neutral contemporary interiors, we can begin to identify future trends by analyzing architectural projects that differ from the traditional, recognizing disruptive interior materials and finishes guided by technological advances that are shaping complex and changing homes of the future. The selection of these innovative materials conveys a meticulous decision process in building the structure and identity of a space. Depending on the context and typology of a space, there is a growing awareness of how materials impact an environment, and how new technologies are creating smart solutions that can mitigate their effects indoors.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in visualizing the interiors of the homes of the future, and together with the exploration of biophilic, intelligent and 3D-printed materials, is stimulating new ways of approaching how we will live indoors moving forward.
From inflatable and 3D-printed structures to entire habitats, architecture plays an unprecedented role in space exploration missions. As NASA plans for long-term human exploration of the Moon and Mars under Artemis and CHAPEA missions, new technologies are required to meet the unique challenges of living and working in another world. In response, figures like Buckminster Fuller, Foster + Partners, SOM, and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, in collaboration with emerging businesses such as ICON and SEArch+, have nourished the architectural catalog in outer space.
In the latest update, NASA awarded Austin-based company ICON a contract to continue ICON's Olympus construction system in partnership with BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. The project will help build infrastructures such as landing pads, habitats, capsules, and roads on the lunar surface and Mars, using extrusion-based additive construction technology (3D printing) and local materials like lunar regolith. The contract runs through 2028 and supports Artemis, a mission for long-term human exploration of the Moon.
Hospitality expert Liz Lambert has announced a collaboration with ICON, the office that pioneered large-scale 3D printing, and BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, to rebuild El Cosmico, a campground hotel in Marfa, Texas. The team plans to relocate the venue to a 62 acres plot, where new architectural approaches are made possible by including advanced technologies and 3D-printing elements such as domes, vaults, and parabolic forms. The innovative development will feature guest accommodation and new hospitality programming, including a pool, spa, and shared communal facilities. The project is expected to break ground in 2024.
Can you imagine being able to prototype a piece of furniture at the touch of a button and testing it in just a few hours? This might become a common practice sooner than we may think. Fueled by material innovation, automation and cutting-edge technology, a new era in home decor is emerging; one where 3D printing opens up a world of creative possibilities that transcend the bounds of traditional design. Yes, furniture is still mass-produced using conventional methods –molding, cutting, bending–, but 3D printing continues to disrupt the industry. As the revolutionary technology evolves and becomes more accessible, it has unleashed an unparalleled level of creative expression and efficiency. The concept is simple: a digital design is created using 3D modeling software and then printed, layer by layer, in the form of a physical object, bringing complex geometries to life. It’s a whole new kind of digital craftsmanship.
“Changing Our Footprint”: Henning Larsen Opens an Explorative Exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin
In an effort to address the architecture industry’s environmental impact, Henning Larsen is presenting the “Changing Our Footprint” exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin. The event features the small but scalable steps that the office is taking to move towards a more desirable future through the projects they are designing and the research they are conducting. The exhibition aims to be an engaging event, inviting visitors to participate in the dialogue, to think critically about the proposed solutions and initiatives, and to ask difficult questions in the search for better outcomes. The exhibition is open until March 22, 2023. Henning Larsen will also host a series of panel debates at the Aedes Architecture Forum from February 22 to March 14.
The ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards is one of the architecture world’s most influential and democratic award series, celebrating the best architecture around the world as chosen by YOU, our readers.
By nominating and voting, you form part of an interdependent, impartial, distributed network of jurors and peers that has consistently helped us highlight architecture of every scale, purpose, and condition, from countries large and small, and architects of all descriptions.
This is why we decided to trust our community in the design of The Building of the Year trophy, in a way to celebrate this community-based award.
We are looking for the best 3D-Printed trophy designs, that will be displayed at the most influential architecture practices in the world.
Pioneer in large-scale 3D printing, ICON announced the construction of a 3D-printed 100-Home Community co-designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and developed by Lennar. Located north of Austin, in the city of Georgetown, "The Genesis Collection at Wolf Ranch" will become the first and largest house estate in the world built by a fleet of robots integrating additive construction techniques.
Combining the digital possibilities of 3d printing with sustainable features at an affordable price, the project aims to support the housing crisis in Austin, one of the U.S.A's most dynamic and growing cities, home to the new Tesla Gigafactory and other giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle.
The construction industry's future will undoubtedly include "carbon reduction" as a mandatory task. Aside from locally sourced, virgin materials, an increasing number of new materials are becoming available. New materials can be developed in several ways, including low-carbon substitution, recycling, performance enhancement, and 3D printing. New materials will not only be more environmentally friendly and enable new construction methods, but they will also influence the starting point and direction of design concepts, resulting in new buildings with new perceptions and spaces.