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A 3D printed store façade made of reclaimed fishing nets

Dutch architectural studio MVRDV designed the façade of the Tiffany & Co. store in Singapore’s Changi Airport, which is made of 3D printed reclaimed fishing nets.

According to the architects, “MVRDV identified a series of distinctive design characteristics that would speak to Tiffany’s identity and history, ranging from touches of Tiffany Blue® to the use of innovative materials, inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s contributions to the world of glass art during the late 19th century.”

The façade was inspired by Singapore’s coral reefs. Using the patterns seen in coral species, the team designed a screen to cover the store’s façade with an organic, cell-like pattern. The screen was 3D printed by Amsterdam-based company Aectual using recycled plastic, including reclaimed and recycled fishing nets as another nod to the ocean. To make the material firesafe, Milan-based studio BUROMILAN developed a chemical that is made using seawater.

The screen foregrounds a layer of glass that was screen printed with a colour gradient, transitioning from Tiffany’s signature robin’s-egg blue to a deep blue that references Singapore’s ocean setting.

The gradient of light and dark blue returns in the 3D printed portion of the design. It happens around the store’s entrances, where the screen is light blue at the front and dark blue at the back. This gradient is reversed in the very corners of the façade, with a gradual transition in between.

Photos: MVRDV