As 3D printing begins to edge its way into sustainable housing designs and proposals, one can only wish for a crystal ball to look into the future and see what the long-term impact will be with these progressive architectural ideas. Currently, Sweden’s Belatchew Labs paints a very attractive picture with their vision of what 3D printing in construction, and through use of concrete as a material, could do with some prime real estate: the water.
Belatchew Labs is a studio within Belatchew Arkitekter, a visionary architectural firm in Sweden that specializes in creating experimental projects such as SwimCity, which offers a real estate future on a very different type of foundation. Featuring a reasonably solid theory behind it as the water offers multiple benefits for housing, SwimCity would be situated on unused space, which also poses as a potential energy source to be used in a variety of ways, including power and heat pumps.
While 3D printing being used in construction routinely is certainly on the horizon, many architects are racing to the finish line to make it a reality and change the face of home construction forever. With the idea of 3D printed, custom-made architecture that can be produced rapidly, affordably, and is better for the environment, we all want to know more — and when we can get in on these exciting new options.
Supported by the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, Belatchew’s SwimCity proposes an initital idea outlining a way to increase living space for students and young adults, in the way of 3D printed structures that would offer sustainable housing in a variety of shapes and structures that would ‘adapt to the landscape.’ The construction reduces the carbon footprint with the re-use of concrete by using it as a 3D printing material. With such a process, waste is substantially eliminated and 3D printing offers all of its usual benefits, to include speed in production, flexibility overall, and creativity in designs which can also be more effective and safer, too.
“The technological development in 3D-printed concrete has come very far. With SwimCity we show how the new technology makes it possible for us to create unique buildings which today’s prefab industry is not capable of,” said Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, CEO and founder of Belatchew Arkitekter.
The vision of an entire neighborhood on the water is not an entirely new idea, and Belatchew is not the only architectural firm moving in line with this vision. What makes the progressive ideas circulating worldwide different is that they feature different materials, foundations, and structure types — as well as uses. For SwimCity, the use of 3D printing with concrete, establishing structures on a vastly unused space, has the potential for a huge impact in urban planning and the use of areas such as vacant ports, quays, and docks. The affordable, efficient vision helps plan for population growth and attractive new housing for future generations — especially with the idea of ‘floating dormitories.’ To see other amazing visionary projects in the works by Belatchew Arkitekter, click here.
What do you think the future is for 3D printed homes, structures, and offices? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed SwimCity Neighborhood forum over at 3DPB.com.