“Switzerland Set to Witness Rise of a Groundbreaking 3D Printed Tower – A Closer Look”


The Tour Blanche, conceived by architect Michael Hansmeyer, is a 29-meter-high building that’ll soon stand tall in Mulegns, Switzerland. Entirely constructed through 3D printed concrete, the building takes inspiration from baroque aesthetics with detailed columns and an ornate staircase, testament to the visual possibilities of digital fabrication. The edifice will serve as a cultural hub, attracting visitors and hosting cultural gatherings with amenities such as exhibition spaces and a floating platform capable of supporting 45 people for events like concerts and theater performances.

Among the tower’s design inspirations are the elaborate column work and the manipulation of light and shadows, crafted to enhance its prominence along the Col du Julier route. The construction uses an advanced robotic concrete extrusion method. Not only does this reflect the industry’s shift towards sustainable building techniques, but it also allows for more efficient use of materials, applying concrete only where necessary, effectively reducing concrete usage by half. This also eliminates the need for formwork. The method supports on-site modular construction, thus cutting down on transportation costs and overall environmental footprint. The design also allows for deconstruction and relocation, highlighting the flexibility of 3D printed structures.

The facade of the tower is as much a structural achievement as it is an aesthetic marvel, with all 104 columns ensuring stability. Every column showcases two types of decorations: a horizontal design feature inherent to the 3D printing process, and a spiral feature giving the tower a heightened aesthetic.

Moving forward, the Tour Blanche develops as an exemplar of the burgeoning role that computer-aided design and digital fabrication could play in construction. Its core principles are sustainability, versatility and enhanced design intricacies.

Source: designer-daily.com

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