For the first time ever architects have built a complete “room” with the use of a 3D printer. “Digital Grotesque” is the name of a 16 square meters “fully immersive, solid, human-scale enclosed structure”, which is entirely printed out of sand.
It looks a lot like an exaggerated version of a sandcastle, but the project “Digital Grotesque” is so much more. The designers/ developers of this project are Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger from Swiss. They created this “room”, which has an 11 tonne structure and it exhibits an impressive 260 million surfaces with a layer resolution of 0.13mm. It took the team 13 months to complete the project, while the entire structure was built in only one month.
The project looks very much like a cathedral, but in fact it totally isn’t. So how would the experts describe it themselves? The team defines it as “neither foreign nor familiar”, because it straddles both chaos and order and the natural and artificial. The striking thing about the production process of this project is that it was made by an algorithm and not by traditional design methods. The team stated about this: “any reference to nature or existing styles are not integrated into the design process, but are evoked only as associations in the eye of the beholder.”
On their website the team further on states the project is about reductionism as well as geometric processes:
“We aim to create an architecture that defies classification and reductionism. We explore unseen levels of resolution and topological complexity in architecture by developing compositional strategies based on
purely geometric processes.”
World can tell you a lot about a project like this, but what really counts is seeing it with your own eyes. Here’s a video about the project. It shows you the complete building process as well as the result; a charming, artistic room with many details: