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ECHOVIREN, Gualala, United States

Friday 23 Aug 2013

Down to earth design...

Images: smith|allen 
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Smith|Allen completes decomposing 3D printed pavilion in 150-acre redwood forest 

Young architect and sculpture duo Smith|Allen have 3D printed the largest structure of its kind in the dappled light of a redwood forest in Gualala, California. Entitled Echoviren, the pavilion-style structure took 10,800 hours to print more than 500 panels via 7 desktop 3D printers and was assembled onsite in only 4 days.

Presented by the designers as ‘the world’s first 3D printed, full-scale architectural installation’, the structure measures 10ft x 10ft x 8ft and was erected as part of the Project 387 Residency which supports visual artists and performers.

Smith|Allen describe their project thus: “A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a natural system, but as a palimpsest.

“The hybridized experience within the piece highlights the accumulated iterations of a site, hidden within contemporary landscapes. Echoviren exposes an ecosystem of dynamic natural and unnatural interventions: the interplay of man and nature moderated by technology.”

Fabricated, printed and assembled onsite by Smith|Allen, Echoviren encourages users to view the forest in new ways, forcing them to gaze skywards into the tree canopy through its large oculus.

Standing starkly against the muted backdrop of the forest glade, this translucent white form is punctuated, echoing the dappled light patterns cast across the woodland floor. Its porous surface frames the surrounding flora and is composed of a plant-based PLA bio-plastic which will decompose over a period of 30 to 50 years, creating new habitats for local birds, animals and insects.  

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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