It was only a matter of time before 3D-printed houses started popping up, but Softkill Design’s fibrous ProtoHouse wasn’t exactly what we all had in mind. Eschewing the conventional solid house, the London-based firm printed a 1:33 model of a fibrous cave-like dwelling made using a bone growth formula that only puts material where it is structurally necessary. Because water can easily enter the home, waterproofing was added on the inside!
The ProtoHouse would be printed in 31 sections that would be shipped to and constructed on site, which not only shortens construction time but also considerably reduces the project’s carbon footprint. Construction consists of little more than interlocking the fibrous pieces, a process that requires zero adhesive. By using the bone growth model, Softkill was able to reduce the amount of materials necessary to build and further enhance the project’s overall cost aefficiency.
An experimental design realized after a full year of research, ProtoHouse was designed for the largest 3D printer available today and literally pushes the envelope of architecture by envisioning new forms that respect the need for resource efficiency. The team explained in a recent interview with Dezeen that a house like this might be clad and covered with flexible fabrics and that the waterproofing happens on the interior, which is able to absorb moisture. Although this is a bit strange, even for us, we definitely like where this research is going.