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Salt and Concrete House

Made from concrete and locally harvested salt, the ‘3D Printed House 1.0’ by Emerging Objects is a case study design combining traditional methods of construction with material innovation and the latest in 3D printed manufacturing.

Commission for Jin Hai Lake Resort in Beijing, the exterior structure of the house is made with a traditional cast-in-place concrete construction and a white plaster finish. The pore-like exterior cladding is made from a 3D printed, fibre-reinforced cement polymer developed by Emerging Objects and based on their Picoroco Block. As described by the designers, ‘The 3D printed façade wall reveals the bumpy surface’s underlying geometry – a series of interconnected pentagons, hexagons and quadrilateral shapes whose terminus is a circle.’ Each circular oculus ranges in size depending upon the amount of light and privacy required in a particular area of the house.

Interior spaces are highlighted with a number of 3D printed, double-height ‘salt volumes’ made from a salt polymer based on Emerging Object’s material innovation ‘The Saltygloo.’ Made from locally sourced salt and a ‘salty glue,’ this material is interesting as a 3d printing material because it is not only inexpensive, but also waterproof, lightweight and translucent. The glowing translucency of these volumes lends itself to creating intimate spaces. In this particular design, the salt volumes contain bedrooms, bathrooms and a family dining room.

Outside, a free form pool cabana that was also 3D printed with a salt polymer highlights the tension between water and salt as materials.

Find out more about this project and the innovative work of Emerging Object here.