Working in collaboration with mathematician Rinus Roelofs, Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Amsterdam-based Universe Architecture has announced plans to construct a continuously looping habitable structure — a “house with no beginning or end” — using the "mega-scale" D-Shape printer. Italian inventor Enrico Dini’s massive (it’s said to be the world’s largest) stereolithographic printer is capable of churning out 20- to 30-foot marble-like building blocks composed of sand mixed with a special inorganic binder agent. The interlocking hollow sections are then layered from the ground up and reinforced with concrete and fiberglass.
Due for completion at some point next year with a price tag in the $6 million range, the proposed Landscape House is esentially M.C. Escher enthusiasts fever dream come to life: a twisty, mind-boggling 12,000-square-foot structure where exterior and interior spaces blend together and the floors morph into walls, then into ceilings, and eventually into floors again. Basically, it's the math nerd's take on a carnival fun house.
To be clear, a Mobius strip-inspired private residence had already been built in — where else but — the Netherlands. However, Ruijssenaars is promoting the Landscape House as the world's first habitable structure, shaped like a twisted-cylinder or not, to harness Dini's advanced 3D printing technology. "It's our ambition to have the first printed house, this printer has made art or objects for sea defences, but this is the first time to build something that can be lived in," Ruijssenaars tells AFP.
While it’s unclear what the ultimate use of the highly replicable Landscape House will be — a Brazilian national park has apparently expressed interest in using the structure as a museum and use as a private home for humans and/or humanoid robots is certainly not out of the question — Ruijssenaars believes that building homes with a D-Shape printer offers superior efficiency to traditional construction. He tells the BBC: “In traditional construction you have to make a mould of wood and you fill it with concrete and then you take out the wood — it's a waste of time and energy. You can print what you want — it's a more direct way of constructing."
Describing the entire process as a “new building technology which will revolutionize the way architectural design is planned, and building constructions are executed,” The D-Shape website further elaborates on the efficiency and environmental friendliness at hand: "D-Shape has been designed to make the Construction Industry more environmentally friendly as well as providing low-cost access to building for people in need around the world. The system uses environmentally friendly materials and very low levels of energy."
As for the curious structure’s name, Ruijssenaars explains that "we started to ask the question if a building can be like the landscape, in order to make a building that would not harm the landscape, or at least learn from the landscape. We analyzed that the essence of landscape is that it has no beginning or ending, so it's continuous, not only the fact the world is round but also water goes into land, valleys into mountains, it's always continuous." Make sense to me.
I’ll be keeping an eye on this one. Landscape House was developed for Europan, a biennial European architecture and design competition for young spatial designers.