A 3D printed house made of clay. Meet “Tecla”

The name comes from the words “Technology” and “Clay”. Bologna based architecture studio Mario Cucinella Architects created the first eco-sustainable house that is 3D printed using clay. 

Could Tecla be the answer to serious global issues like the increasing climate emergency and the need for sustainable homes? Combining state-of-the-art technology and ancient building techniques, it certainly is a perfect example of low-carbon, climate-adaptable housing. It is located on the outskirts of Bologna Italy, and all the materials used for its construction came from the surrounding area, most importantly the clay that is from a nearby riverbed.

A technological miracle

It took no more than 200 hours to construct the 60-square-metre house, using a multilevel, modular 3D printer. Two connected dome-shaped volumes constitute the house. All the outer walls are made of clay, arranged in undulating layers. This way they provide structural stability and function as a thermal barrier. The atypical shape gives life to an organic and visually coherent design. The layout is divided into two different zones: a day zone which constitutes of the living area and the kitchen, and a night zone which includes the sleeping area and services. They are 4.2 meters high each and have skylights at the top so that natural light can reach easily all the inside areas.

An example of low-carbon housing

Tecla ,a 3D printed house, is the result of a meticulous study of bio-climatic principles and the use of natural and local materials. As Mario Cucinella Architects point out: “It is a nearly zero-emission project. Its casing and the use of entirely local materials allows for the reduction of waste and scraps. This and the use of clay make Tecla a pioneering example of low-carbon housing”. Thanks to modern technology it became possible to reuse an ancient material and to transform it to something new. And this is something that could show us a way to our future development.

31 / 01 / 2022