Zaha Hadid Architects and Tecno present new office concept with plant-based 3D printed floor

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and furniture maker Tecno showcased their new office concept “ALIS pod” in the Giardini in Venice, and it includes custom plant-based 3D printed flooring.

Developed by Amsterdam-based architectural 3D printing company Aectual, the distinct base of the capsule is carbon neutral terrazzo flooring. The lines of the pattern are 3D printed from flaxseed (linseed), while the aggregate resin is based on soybean material with real marble stone additives.

Aectual flooring also comes with a non-redlisted certificate, which means that it does not contain any elements known to present risks to human health. It is also 100% free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and 100% recyclable.

The interior of the ALIS capsule, with a 3D printed herbal soil. Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects.

The ALIS capsule

The ALIS pod office concept features a design inspired by orchids, with organic “petals” delimiting the four glass walls. The cubic structure is almost six meters long and can be completely customized according to the user’s requirements and the location in which it will be installed.

Designed as a mobile and modular space to meet, the ALIS pod can be installed both indoors and outdoors, in commercial offices as well as train stations and airports. It can also be taken apart and transported easily, with different petal configurations available when reassembling.

Like the floor covering, the rest of the nacelle elements have also been designed with a circular economy in mind. ZHA states that the components of ALIS can be recycled or recycled for secondary applications once the capsule reaches the end of its life, thus ensuring minimal waste.

Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, said: “Our work combines innovations in design and operational technologies with advances in green materials and sustainable building practices. We must not only look at the disparate parts, but work to understand them as a whole to provide solutions to the defining challenges of our time. “

The exterior of the ALIS capsule in Venice.  Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects.
The exterior of the ALIS capsule in Venice. Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects.

3d printed Terrazzo Pattern X Durabella Floors

Aectual’s 3D printing system is a six-axis robotic arm based on extrusion. By running four of these printers together in unison, the company is able to print over an area of ​​500 square feet, producing large-scale objects and floor panels that are then welded together.

The company’s 3D printed floor patterns are fully customizable project by project, meaning clients like Tecno and ZHA are able to incorporate orientation, highlight specific points of interest and design. ‘use geometry to create a sense of place and scope. The pattern lines are available in any RAL or NCS color, and customers can often choose from a wide variety of aggregate filler materials. For the ALIS pod, ZHA opted for the Aectual x Durabella aggregate no. 4: a dark green infill with Nero Ebano and Alpi Verde marble.

Due to the slight flexibility of the 3D printed floor, it would also not crack under heavy foot traffic. The material is designed to be very durable, easy to clean and has better acoustics than traditional cement-based terrazzo floors. This makes it a viable choice for places like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and shops.

The image shown shows the Aectual XL 3D printing robot.  Photo via Aectual.
The Aectual XL 3D printing robot. Photo via Aectual.

With the design freedom afforded by additive manufacturing, the construction industry can greatly benefit from new 3D printed architectural designs, along with potentially lower costs and faster construction times. Earlier this month, a 3D printed house called the “Fibonacci House” became the first of its kind to be listed on the popular travel accommodation site Airbnb. Built by Dutch construction start-up Twente Additive Manufacturing, the compact yet luxuriously upholstered vacation home is now available for rent in the scenic hills of British Columbia, Canada.

Elsewhere, Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit dedicated to poverty reduction, has started 3D printing affordable housing in Tempe, Arizona. Last month, the organization used a COBOD BOD 2 concrete 3D printer, along with construction company PERI and several other local partners, to 3D print a single-family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Once completed, a family selected by Habitat will be chosen to live in the house.

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The image shown shows the interior of the ALIS module. Photo by Zaha Hadid Architects.

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