3D Housing Architect Massimiliano Locatelli Talks, “Creativity, Sustainability, Flexibility, Affordability” At Milan Design Week.

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3D Printed Housing (courtesy photo)

Can you briefly describe the project “3D Housing 05”? What does it mean?
Massimiliano Locatelli: This project explores the infinite possibilities offered by 3D printers in the field of architecture, making a house that is a prototype of a new way of building. The name comes from the 3D technology utilized for the production of a building that can be described with 5 words: creativity, sustainability, flexibility, affordability and rapidity. To describe the house, the outside has a soft, sinuous form that fits into the architecture of the city in a natural way. The organic form of the house, with the roof garden, the vegetable garden and the trees, allows a human approach, taking full advantage of the freedom offered by 3D printing.

Why 3D printing for housing? What are the core values of this technology?
Massimiliano Locatelli: The values lie in the 5 keywords that describe the project: creativity, sustainability, flexibility, affordability and rapidity. 3D Housing 05 is an ethical project where the beauty of the future is created by means of the transformation of debris into construction material, and by the speed and reduction of costs, placed at the service of sustainability and creativity.
It is a project that puts the accent on man’s freedom of self-determination, while respecting the places where he lives. The initiative puts innovation and beauty at the service of everyone, in an authentically progressive vision of dwelling, and therefore of being.

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3D Printed Housing (courtesy photo)
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3D Printed Housing (courtesy photo)

What is the impact of this technology on the global community and its potential for growth?
Massimiliano Locatelli: The adaptability of the printer grants clients flexibility of form, allowing them to intervene in every phase of the design, to build the project around themselves, their needs and their tastes. The client/architect relationship is completely revised. The designer becomes an interpreter of the desires and reasoning of the homeowner, who can achieve his goals with 3D technology, which no longer has limits.
The speed and flexibility of the technique and the easy transport of the printer also permit immediate implementation, even in situations of risk, during emergencies or in the wake of catastrophes. Anywhere. So ethics and aesthetics are reconciled.

Why can you call this process sustainable?
Massimiliano Locatelli: This construction process is sustainable and ecological because it is done with cement powders obtained from demolition. Furthermore, if the house is destroyed its debris can be reutilized to make a new construction, with zero impact!

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3D Printed Housing (courtesy photo)

How long does it take to build a 3D house of 100 square meters?
Massimiliano Locatelli: At present, it is possible to construct a 100 sqm house in just one week.

In terms of costs?
Massimiliano Locatelli: We are still in an experimental phase, but we are confident that in this initial moment the costs should be slightly less than half of the average cost of traditional construction, therefore 1000 euros per square meter. In this future this figure should be reduced to about 200-300 euros.

Which technical tools are necessary to the process?
Massimiliano Locatelli: A 3D printing machine and cement, a particular mix that permits each layer to set rapidly, facilitating placement of the next to form the modules of the house very quickly.

What is the role of Milan in the global scenario of innovation, design and architecture?
Massimiliano Locatelli: Milan is the coolest city in Europe at the moment. It has the qualities of a small city and the energy of a big one. As Gillo Dorfles said: “The values, relationships, activities, and its contradictions – and therefore, as a result, its architecture, its way of being big and small at the same time – make it totally irreplaceable, at least for me.”

The city’s skyline has become futuristic, while conserving the luxury of the best in Italian lifestyle. Art, architecture, fashion and design are the strong suits of a city that in the wake of Expo has been able to construct a project, bringing meaning to what exists, guiding the transformations. And we – but especially the new inhabitants – will transform the new, as part of a history in motion.

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