A concrete 3D printed pavilion

In a collaboration between Prof. Herrmann and Prof. Spaeth of the German Technische Hochschule Lübeck, Dutch specialist in 3D printing Vertico, and construction materials company Sika, the pavilion uses age-old structural principles as well as cutting-edge production techniques in concrete 3D printing.

The pavilion was created to demonstrate the power of concrete 3D printing and overcoming traditional manufacturing constraints. The overall shape of the structure comes from a computational form-finding process based on structural simulations generating a compression-only shell structure. The shape consists of planar hexagonal tiles that allow for efficient printing on a planar printing bed.

The resulting pavilion consists of a dome of 102 interlocking stones spanning about 4.5 m in diameter, which were printed in two days. The fully digitized process, from design to production, and the flexible 3D printing enables a vast range of different geometries for the stones and subsequently for the overall shape without additional effort.

The structure uses old principles that prioritise form and function, which through 3D printing, can become cost-effective. In addition, the pavilion was designed for disassembly to reduce waste. The contact surfaces are coated with a non-adhesive agent to eliminate the potential transfer of tensile forces and to allow for easier disassembly. The pavilion uses materials where they are most efficient: concrete for compression, and steel in tensile.

The pavilion was revealed at the Nordbau 2023, a trade fair for construction at Neumünster, Schleswig Holstein.

Photos: Vertico