3D Printing in Raw Earth

An exciting new type of building has been created in Ravenna, Italy. Remiscent of and utilising a similar ethos to earthbag homes, the TECLA house is a beautiful dome built from raw earth.

The brains behind the project are Mario Cucinella Architects and Massimo Moretti (founder of 3D printing specialists WASP). Being fully 3D printed and constructed from the plentiful ground it sits on, the TECLA house (Technology + Clay) is the first of its kind.

The resulting prototype is a demonstration of low carbon building with an extremely short turnaround. In fact, the TECLA home (60sqm complete with living room, bedroom, and bathroom) was built in around 200 hours.

The perfect geometries of a domed building remove the need for internal scaffolding, whilst utilising raw earth from the site minimises transportation and material costs. Finally, the speed at which they can be finalised suggests their potential viability as emergency shelters, as well as low-cost housing.

However, it is not specified what the lifespan of these buildings may be, although that would likely be greatly increased by external moisture proofing, plaster, stucco, or something entirely new, and it is also not stated the cost of equipment to produce the buildings. Regardless, the TECLA house is undeniably a step in the right direction.

Mario Cucinella Architects

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2021.

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