Today’s materials for tomorrow’s architecture!

Insulation material made from Typha, communicating façades, printed roof tiles, walls made from fungi… During MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 (12-14 March in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands) the architect will fancy themselves in the future!

With an extensive lecture programme, put together along with Ben van Berkel and Filippo Lodi (UNStudio and UNSense), a large collection of materials from the independent MaterialDistrict collection and fascinating architectural exhibition pieces, MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is once again a source of inspiration!

Which trends do we see in the sector Architecture?
The themes Ben van Berkel and Filippo Lodi focus on are Material Technology, Health, Social Impact and Media. Like glass, in which more functions can be integrated every day, or the flexibility of textile in construction. And the mission is clear: our built environment must be fully circular and energy neutral by the year 2050. What does this mean for the materials we use? Which materials are circular and how are they best applied?

Initiatives like the material passport of Madaster and the urban mining initiative from New Horizon are becoming more frequent, and reusing materials is becoming increasingly important. Alongside the techno-cycle, materials in the bio-cycle are growing; building with wood and CLT is gaining in popularity, thermally modified wood is more like a rule than an exception and even bamboo constructions are possible nowadays. Aside from that, residual materials from the textile industry, agriculture and packaging materials are a source for new raw materials for insulation, a variety of finishing materials, and interior decoration. Aside from circular building, 3D printing with a variety of materials offers opportunities for efficient material use and faster production processes. The technical developments of glass such as constructive, curved and interactive features are a source of spectacular architecture. By combining nature with the newest technologies, it is possible to innovate architecture and to close the cycle of materials.

For an interview with ambassador Ben van Berkel, click here.

Materials from the independent MaterialDistrict collection
During this three-day event, MaterialDistrict will show the newest materials from its independent collection, which were scouted during the past year. A small selection of materials:

BorjaJet roof tiles (CER231) combine traditional ceramic roof tiles with inkjet printing. Butong bubble concrete panels (CON176) are made using bubble wrap. Wireglass (GLA278) is a project of Caroline Priss and Marieke van den Heuvel, which resulted in various dynamic weaves integrated into glass. Typha insulation (ONA776) is made from a plant commonly known as reed, cattail or bulrush that flourishes in the watery areas of Friesland in the Netherlands. Lignoloc wooden nails (WOO418) are made of beech wood and offer a sustainable alternative to metal nails or glue.

Large exhibition pieces
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is for 140 exhibitors the annual platform to present their material innovations with their own presentation at the trade fair floor. Aside from the presentations by exhibitors and the independent material exhibition, several large exhibition pieces – often never shown to the public before – will be exhibited during the trade fair, showing the visitor a glimpse of the future. What can you expect?

Mycelium bricks
Mogu makes bricks and other objects out of mycelium, the spore-system of fungi. These spores can grow in every desired shape and live on organic waste like sawdust. The material has similar qualities to Styrofoam and can be used in a wide variety of applications.

The company Goodhout makes wood-like materials out of coconut residue. The material is 100% natural.

Lecture programme Architecture
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam is known for its high-profile lecture programme, which includes renowned (inter)national architects, scientists, designers and other experts. After last year’s success, there will be once more two simultaneous theatre programmes this year, providing a line-up of 60 speakers who will share their knowledge and experience with the audience.

Wednesday morning 13 March the lecture programme ‘Architecture’ takes place in the MaterialDistrict theatre. Speakers are, amongst others, Stefano Babbini (Mogu Mycelium), and Sylvia ten Houten of Goodhout. Keep an eye on our programme here.

Visit us
MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 takes place from Tuesday 12 March until Thursday 14 March, in Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands. For more information and a free ticket, click here.