The world’s largest 3D-printed architecture pavilion has taken over part of Beijing. Laboratory for Creative Design (LCD) designed and built Vulcan, a white latticed structure that was just awarded the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest 3D-printed structure. Recently unveiled at Beijing Design Week 2015, the massive Vulcan symbolizes the exciting departure from traditional building methods towards a new and revolutionary kind of architecture.
Displayed at Beijing’s Parkview Green, the white, undulating Vulcan was named after the Latin term for volcano and the God of Fire in Roman Mythology. The provocative name references both the unpredictable and sublime power of nature, as well as man’s fragility. The 3D-printed structure’s shape seems to echo this sentiment: the 120-degree symmetrical arched form brings to mind the mushroom-shaped cloud that results from a large volcanic explosion. The massive pavilion is made up of 1,023 individual 3D-printed units and measures 8.08 meters in length and 2.88 meters in height.
Although the white latticed modular system has a shape suggestive of an explosion, the construction was actually inspired by silkworm cocoons. LCD architects Yu Lei and Xu Feng based their design off of long-term research on the simulation of silk and cocoon production. “VULCAN represents a new reality – that modern architects are able to achieve their ideal design quality from concept to construction using digital design and fabrication methodologies,” said Yu Lei. “This development will increasingly blur the boundaries between technology and art.”