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DUS Architects Creates 3D-Printed Façade

Ossip van Duivenbode

Combining 3D printing techniques with a tensile fabric structure, DUS Architects has created a sculptural façade for the mobile Europe Building where European politicians and officials will meet during the Dutch EU Presidency 2016 over the next six months.

The entrance of the building is partially constructed with playfully shaped sails which refer to the yachts that were previously built on site. This creates alcoves, which house EU blue-coloured 3D printed benches. At sunset, the benches and back facades are illuminated with spotlights. Light pulsates slowly behind the canvas, going on and off in two minutes.


Each seating element of the 3D facade is parametrically designed and fits perfectly in every alcove. The spatial pattern from bottom to top has a different shape to emphasize the diversity, but at the same time also the convergence of the EU countries. The seating surfaces are filled with light-colored concrete. This provides added strength and a contrast to the blue, printed pattern. The elements are produced locally with a life-size 3D printer.


“We’re collaborating with Henkel, a global multinational that does innovative work with materials, and we’re investigating the possibilities to create new printed biodegradable printing materials,” explained studio co-founder Hedwig Heinsman. The Mobile Europe Building was completed in collaboration with building company Heijmans.

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all images © Ossip van Duivenbode