Art & Sculpture

Middle East Architecture Network creates 3D printed pavilion made from 30,000 water bottles

The Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN) has installed a 3D printed pavilion made from 30,000 recycled water bottles at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). 

This unique structure is known as Deciduous, a term used in the field of botany which describes trees that seasonally shed leaves. It aims to provide a new form of public interaction that revisits human relationships with nature.

The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.
The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.

Sustainable, 3D printed construction 

MEAN utilizes computational design processes and digital fabrication tools to leverage the quality of architectural solutions. It is lead by architect and founder, Riyad Joucka, who has experience in developing complex structures, facades, and building technologies.

In the creation of Deciduous, MEAN collaborated with London large-scale 3D printer provider Ai Build and Dubai-based Construction company, Besix 3D, to additively manufacture the structure’s base using concrete. Conjoining stems are included in this structure, forming its unusual shape, which is made from PETG stems and a plastic polymer upcycled from 30,000 discarded water bottles.

This installation follows Dubai’s vision for 2025 in which at least 25% of every new building in the city will be made with additive manufacturing. Earlier this year, Ai Build partnered with 3DVinci Creations, a 3D printing service bureau based in Dubai to distribute Ai Build’s Factory-as-a-Service subscription within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), furthering Dubai’s vision.

The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.
The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.

Dubai furthers additive manufacturing

Dubai’s focus on accelerating additive manufacturing for construction has lead to various novel buildings and structures. Last month, the Dubai Municipality unveiled a 640sqm 3D printed building project spanning 9.5m high in Al Warsan, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest 3D printed two-story structure.

Prior to this, Parisian large scale 3D printing firm XtreeE announced a collaboration with Concreative, a concrete 3D printing company based in the UAE to open a new 3D printing production unit in Dubai. Moreover, ACCIONA, a Spanish conglomerate group dedicated to infrastructural management, inaugurated a new global 3D printing center in Dubai to meet the growing demand for 3D printed infrastructure.

The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.
The 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.

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Featured image shows the 3D printed pavilion, Deciduous. Photo via MEAN/NAARO.

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