3D printed cabin of various materials has plants integrated in the façade

Design firm Emerging Objects designed the ‘Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities’, clad in 3D printed ceramic tiles. The tiles in the front façade contain integrated planters, creating a living wall of succulents.

Due to a housing emergency in the Bay Area, the Oakland City Council in California eased restrictions on the construction of secondary housing units, or backyard cottages. This has opened the door for Emerging Objects to use the relaxed codes to experiment towards addressing housing problems at a micro scale.

The proof-of-concept 3D printed cabin is an experiment that brings various materials, software and hardware together to demonstrate the architectural potential of additive manufacturing on a weather-tight, structurally sound building.

The tiles in the front façade look like “a box of exquisite chocolates”. They have integrated planters containing succulents, which are naturally thriving in the northern California climate. Several materials are used, including Portland cement, sawdust, chardonnay pomace, or combinations.

The roof and other façades are clad in 3D printed ceramic ‘seed stich’ tiles, which look like a knitting technique called the seed stich. G-code is used to control each line of clay as it is 3D printed to create a loopy texture that looks like seeds scattered across the surface. While all ceramic tiles are printed from the same file, each tile is intentionally unique as a product of fabrication. In this process, the tiles wave back and forth, causing the printer to pull at the line of clay and creating longer and shorter loops toward the end of each tile, producing a distinct machine-made texture that is different every time.

The tiles, functioning as a rain screen, are designed for easy assembly and made to be hung on a building façade.

The inside, as well, is decorated with 3D printed tiles, made from a biobased material based on corn.

Project team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Logman Arja, Hannah Cao, Sandy Curth, Barrak Darweesh, Yonghwan Kim, Daniel Komen, Cooper Rodgers, Alex Schofield, Phirak Suon, Kent Wilson. Special Thanks to Ehren Tool, Danny Defelici at 3DPotter, Leonard Dodd at Erectorbot, Autodesk, and The Bakar Fellows Program and Departments of Architecture and Art Practice at The University of California Berkeley. Additional thanks to Alisa Nadolishny, Natalie Yu, Anthony Gianini, and Sarah Rippee.

Photos: Matthew Millman / Emerging Objects