Freeform 3D-Printed House
WATG’s innovative Urban Architecture Studio has been announced as the First Prize winner for The Freeform Home Design Challenge, a competition to design the world’s first freeform 3D printed house. According to WATG, the Freeform 3D-Printed House Challenge was conceived to invite architects, designers, engineers, and artists from around the world to participate in an investigation of how 3D printing technologies can improve our built environment and lives today. The challenge, commissioned by Branch Technology, was to design a 600-800 square-foot single-family home that would rethink traditional architectural aesthetics, ergonomics, construction, building systems, and structure from the ground up.
Branch Technology required participants to propose conceptual solutions for all aspects of the house. For example, the building envelope was to consider material applications, fenestration, and structure. The interiors were to include a kitchen, bath, living area, and one bedroom. In addition, building systems were to resolve mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and lighting requirements while also allowing for passive solar design strategies. WATG’s Chicago-based team, consisting of Daniel Caven, Chris Hurst, Miguel Alvarez, and Brent Watanabe, won with their unique design, ‘Curve Appeal’. The proposal captures the potential for 3D printing to revolutionize design and construction. According to Branch Technology Founder, Platt Boyd, “Curve Appeal is a very thoughtful approach to the design of our first house. It responds well to the site conditions, magnifies the possibilities of cellular fabrication, and pushes the envelope of what is possible while still utilizing more economical methods for conventional building systems integration.” The design of the house consists of two main components: an interior core and exterior skin. The open and light-filled interior living spaces protect occupants from the elements via passive strategies while connecting them to the exterior spaces and nature itself. The exterior skin is derived from simple yet carefully calculated archways that ultimately blend with the site leaving an organic presence. The house is set to begin planning phases in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Branch Technology’s lab and is expected to begin 3D printing in 2017.
Competition entry: WATG
Location: Chattanooga, TN, United States of America
Team: Daniel Caven, Miguel Alvarez, Brent Watanbe
Project Year: 2016
Photography: Courtesy of WATG