the institute of architecture theory from innsbruck university, in partnership with company concr3ede, have introduced ‘hypnerotomachia naturae’, a sculpture installation made of 3D printed concrete. the project has been presented as a part of the exhibition ‘schönheit vor weisheit. das wissen der kunst und die kunst der wissenschaft’ (‘beauty before wisdom. the knowledge of art and the art of science’) at the landes museum in innsbruck, austria.

a concrete dream in innsbruck 1

all images by bart lootsma



the innovative sculpture has been designed by stefan maier and giacomo pala, under the supervision of bart lootsma from the institute of architecture theory from innsbruck university. it is an allegorical composition created to accommodate a research cluster on the topic of nature and architecture. the material, realized by concr3de’s innovative 3D printing system is realized thanks to the possibility of creating highly performative cementitious material systems.

a concrete dream in innsbruck 2



‘hypnerotomachia naturae’ consists of a stacking of 3d printed blocks, each one different, and yet all connected to the another. each piece, made of concrete powder, is a singular unit that, interconnected with the others, generate a narrative system. the result is a fragmented body: a continuity of discreet pieces, yet interconnected in a continuous whole. it is a collage-like piece that toys with new technologies and old myths, as well as with pop and high-culture, in order to generate meanings through associations.

a concrete dream in innsbruck 3



the composition of the pieces may be defined as a digital kitbash, but it aims to be something more than a collage: it is a figural narrative representing the humans’ relation with nature and technology. the result is a consciously ambiguous object unmasking the complexity and contradictory coexistence of our world’s narratives, imbued as they are by utopias, hopes, myths, cultures and beliefs.

a concrete dream in innsbruck 4

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a concrete dream in innsbruck 6

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project info:



name: hypnerotomachia naturae
design team: architekturtheorie (bart lootsma, stefan maier, giacomo pala)
3d printed systems and production development: concr3de production
research partners: prashant chavant, davide tommaso ferrando, david kienpointner, nina rattensberger, bettina schlorhaufer, bettina siegele, tobias maria stenico



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom