the ceramic constellation pavilion utilizes 3D printing to reinvent the terracotta brick

the ceramic constellation pavilion utilizes 3D printing to reinvent the terracotta brick

the university of hong kong’s department of architecture has collaborated with the sino group to create ‘ceramic constellation pavilion’. the structure seeks to expand contemporary views on architectural construction by creating a 3.8 meter tall pavilion made entirely of 3D printed terracotta bricks, dispensing with traditional brick-bonding techniques. instead, the structure’s load-bearing features and overall stability are made possible by each brick’s unique shape and placement.

3d printed terracotta brick
the robotic fabrication lab of department of architecture at hong kong university created a new terracotta brick



the overall structure is composed of 2,000 3D printed terracotta bricks. over a span of 3 weeks, the hong kong university faculty and students lead by donn holohan, christian lange, and holger kehne, fired each individual printed brick at 1025 degrees celsius. this process makes the pavilion one of the first of its kind in the world that incorporates this specific material system.’

3d printed terracotta brick
the 3.8m tall project parallels a load-bearing composite structure made with timber

3d printed terracotta brick
the project attempts to revitalize a material system that has a significant tradition in asia

3d printed terracotta brick
each of the nearly 2000 3D printed terracotta bricks are unique and different

3d printed terracotta brick
around 700 kg of raw terracotta clay were printed over a period of 3 weeks

3d printed terracotta brick
the printed bricks were then fired at 1025 degrees celsius

3d printed terracotta brick
each brick took about 2-3 minutes to print

3d printed terracotta brick
the process of brick making has been largely shaped by standardization and mass production

3d printed terracotta brick
the project reflects that efficiency can be accomplished without relying on methods of mass production

3d printed terracotta brick
in closer detail, the variety in the bricks’ shapes become more apparent

  • It is truly beautiful…I can imagine such a system would be wonderful for mitigating coastal erosion and damage from storm surges. It has a form that sparks imagination.

    Cheree Kilburn says:
  • Not impressed. This is more like a design plaything. There’s no practical use in creating structures using this. Gaps make it not a real house, etc.

    SCohen says:
  • fantastic rainscreen away from pedestrian areas/replacement for coral reefs?

    Rich says:
  • Tend to agree with SCohen. Pretty but pointless. Gaps; very little structural strength.

    james says:

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