Robots are revolutionizing architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects is hopping on board to show what that technology can do for custom building design. The world-renowned architecture firm unveiled Thallus, a beautifully ornate experimental structure created with the help of robots for Milan Design Week’s White in the City. The sculpture was programmed and executed by the firm’s Computation Design (ZHA CoDe) research group.



Thallus by Zaha Hadid Architects, White in the City at Milan, White in the City Brera, White in the City Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid at Milan Design Week, robot assisted architecture

Located at Milan’s Brera Academy, Thallus joins a series of temporary installations all created for White in the City, a project that explores the color white as a symbol of health, sustainability, and serenity. Thallus is named after the Greek word for flora and features a tapered shape that opens up at the top like a flower or unfurled leaf.

Thallus by Zaha Hadid Architects, White in the City at Milan, White in the City Brera, White in the City Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid at Milan Design Week, robot assisted architecture

Six-axis robotic 3D printing technology was used to create the sculpture, made up of continuous and repeating loops. The nearly three-meter-tall Thallus was 3D printed from premium polylactide plastic.

Thallus by Zaha Hadid Architects, White in the City at Milan, White in the City Brera, White in the City Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid at Milan Design Week, robot assisted architecture

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“The design explores differential growth methods through expansion and diffusion arising from a single continuous seed curve guided iteratively via simulation parameters while constrained to a reference surface,” writes the firm. “Density gradation and direction of growth have been defined by parameters such as proximity to boundaries, angled direction of rulings, as well as structural requirements.” Thallus is on display at the Pinacoteca di Brera from April 4 to April 9, 2017.

+ Zaha Hadid Architects

Images by Luke Hayes

Thallus by Zaha Hadid Architects, White in the City at Milan, White in the City Brera, White in the City Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid at Milan Design Week, robot assisted architecture

Thallus by Zaha Hadid Architects, White in the City at Milan, White in the City Brera, White in the City Zaha Hadid Architects, Zaha Hadid at Milan Design Week, robot assisted architecture