The store facade of Tiffany & Co. is made from interwoven fishing nets using 3D printing technology.


Sustainability Meets Luxury: Tiffany & Co. Unveils 3D Printed Facade at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Singapore’s Changi Airport is renowned for its world-class facilities that seamlessly blend nature, entertainment, and retail experiences. And now, it has taken a significant leap forward in sustainability with its latest architectural addition. Terminal 1 of Changi Airport is home to a prestigious lineup of luxury boutiques, including DIOR and Louis Vuitton. But it is Tiffany & Co. that has captured attention by unveiling a groundbreaking 3D printed store facade that combines innovation with iconic elegance and a commitment to sustainability.

The inspiration behind the façade comes from the delicate intricacy of coral formations, immersing visitors in an underwater experience. Designed using 3D printing technology and recycled materials, the facade reflects Tiffany & Co.’s dedication to preserving the environment. This groundbreaking project was born from the imagination of Rotterdam-based architectural firm MVRDV, known for their visionary projects. With a unique blend of technical investigation and creative exploration, MVRDV has already set global benchmarks with projects like the Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO headquarters and WoZoCo housing in Amsterdam.

Bringing MVRDV’s idea to life was BUROMILAN, an Italian engineering company with a rich heritage in engineering and a vast portfolio spanning civil, commercial, industrial, and public works. But it was Aectual, a pioneering 3D printing company, that turned the design into reality. The façade was printed using Ocean rPPGF, a revolutionary construction material developed by Reflow. It is composed of 75% recycled fishing nets combined with glass fibers, providing a robust and stable option for exterior applications in architecture and furniture design.

Ocean rPPGF is created through a meticulous process of recycling discarded fishing nets and ropes, primarily sourced from Northern Europe. After sorting, shredding, washing, and separation, the materials are compounded with glass fiber. This addition enhances the material’s strength, resistance to impact, and fixes warping challenges commonly associated with recycled plastics.

The significance of this innovation cannot be understated. Every year, a staggering 500,000 to one million tonnes of discarded fishing nets, also known as “ghost nets,” end up in our oceans, causing severe ecological damage. By recycling these nets, companies like Aectual not only contribute to marine conservation but also reduce the production of new, virgin plastic.

Aectual’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond 3D printing. With the building sector responsible for a significant portion of global waste and resource consumption, Aectual’s approach is a breath of fresh air. They operate within a circular material loop, utilizing recycled waste streams and plant-based materials to ensure zero waste. And when their products have served their purpose, Aectual can repurpose, shred, and re-print them into new items, significantly reducing material use and carbon emissions over time.

Central to Aectual’s process is their state-of-the-art XL 3D printing system. This technology utilizes large robotic arms and high-capacity extruders for rapid printing. Known as Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF), this method brings their sustainable vision to life.

Tiffany & Co.’s 3D printed facade at Changi Airport is more than just a symbol of luxury and innovation. It represents a step towards a more sustainable future, showcasing the possibilities of recycled materials and circular design in the architecture and construction industry. With companies like Aectual leading the way, we can strive for a world where beauty and sustainability go hand in hand.

Tiffany & Co. is known for its luxury stores and high-end jewelry, but the brand is now embracing a new focus on sustainability. In the past, sustainability was not a top priority for the luxury industry, including Tiffany & Co. However, in recent years, the company has made significant strides in promoting responsible business practices.

One way Tiffany & Co. has contributed to sustainability efforts is through its support of sustainable mining and ethical diamond sourcing. The company has actively worked to ensure that its diamonds are conflict-free and has promoted transparency in the diamond supply chain. Additionally, Tiffany & Co. has meticulously traced the origins of its precious metals, further demonstrating its commitment to ethical sourcing.

In 2000, Tiffany & Co. established The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, which has played a vital role in supporting environmental causes. The foundation has provided grants for initiatives such as coral conservation and urban park advocacy, making a positive impact on the environment.

Tiffany & Co.’s dedication to sustainability is also evident in its use of advanced 3D printing technology. At Changi Airport, one of the busiest transportation hubs in the world, the company has created a stunning 3D printed facade for its store. This fusion of avant-garde design, cutting-edge technology, and environmental commitment showcases the potential of 3D printing in sustainable architecture.

As airports and commercial spaces worldwide strive to incorporate sustainability into their designs, Tiffany & Co.’s store at Changi serves as a beautiful example. By harnessing the power of 3D printing, the company is setting a precedent for next-gen sustainable architecture.

In conclusion, Tiffany & Co. has undergone a significant evolution in its approach to sustainability. From actively promoting responsible business practices to embracing advanced technologies like 3D printing, the brand is leading the way in luxury with a purpose. By prioritizing sustainability, Tiffany & Co. is not only creating beautiful jewelry but also making a positive impact on the environment.

Original source


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