by Patrick Vicente May 02, 2018

Nanjing-based architecture firm AZL Architects has used 3D printing to create an exceptional pavilion structure recently installed in a rural Chinese village.

Made from 3D printed plastic blocks, the pavilion is part of the newly-built LEI House, which was developed for a local businesswoman who wanted a new property to add to her established bed-and-breakfast brand. AZL Architects’ design for the LEI House combines the old and the new, using the 3D printed plastic pavilion as a counterpoint to the rugged, stone-clad main building.

The company opted to create a new building that would modernize the village without sacrificing its rural aesthetic. This also promotes the idea of sustainable rural development by working with the natural environment and culture instead of against it.

400 3D printed blocks made from a translucent plastic material were produced in one month by three separate suppliers in Beijing and Nanjing. Two local villagers then assembled the pavilion in just three days.

The finished pavilion has a light and clear aesthetic, which goes well with the the heavy, dense stone of the main building. The 3D printing process enabled varying levels of translucency to be achieved in the blocks, which gives the pavilion a particularly striking and mysterious aesthetic when illuminated from the inside.

The LEI House hopes to influence more architectural projects to integrate construction and 3D printing technology in a creative and sustainable way.


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Patrick Vicente
Patrick Vicente


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