Possibilities unlocked for new expressions in façade design

30 October 2023
Credit: Neutelings Riedijk Architects
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
  • Neutelings Riedijk Architecten

Neutelings Riedijk Architecten

Neutelings Riedijk present research on 3D concrete printing

Tenderstream member Neutelings Riedijk Architecten has dived into the possibilities of 3D printing concrete, focusing primarily on the technical feasibility of creating double-curved facades with filigree infill. The practice collaborated with TU Eindhoven's Department of Architecture and Engineering, led by Professor Juliette Bekkering, and the specialised 3DCprint company Vertico, over the course of a year.

All parties involved in the research investigated the architectural possibilities of 3DConcrete Printing (3DCP) on double-curved moulds. Design opportunities were explored to determine how the typical properties of the 3DCP technique can lead to an appealing image and new expressions in architecture. Alongside this, practical methods were developed to produce the materials, with robots manufacturing circular moulds from sand, which were then formed into a double-curved bed onto which concrete elements were printed.

The research focused on the need for circular construction, reducing the amount of raw materials for concrete formwork and developing optimised strategies for pouring. The robot-produced moulds removed the requirements for wooden scaffolding, together with plastic or foam-based formwork for pouring concrete.

Through 3DCP, unique patterns and decorations can be realised without the use of labour-intensive processes and waste. The Neutelings Riedijk Architecten team were particularly fascinated by the possibility of printing filigree patterns, concrete-like lacework that can be used to create facades and translucent interior walls.

The research was presented in detail during Dutch Design Week 2023 in Eindhoven. 

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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