3D printing is behind plans for futuristic Sunflower Village
During a time of mass exodus from urban areas and renewed interest in rural housing locations, Sunflower Village offers a sustainable construction solution and a sense of community. This design concept outlines a clean and efficient housing development created with 3D printing.
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Sunflower Village is the brainchild of architect Valentino Gareri, Steve Lastro of 6Sides, which specializes in technology and wellness, and leading real estate company Delos. As the name implies, the development is shaped like a sunflower with a central communal area and 19 surrounding houses.
Each of the single-level houses is 3D-printed, a process that influences the final shape of each home. Not dissimilar to the ways brick and wood have defined the shape of homes in the past, 3D printing lends Sunflower Village a futuristic and ultra-efficient design.
The construction process, often wasteful and resource consumptive, is streamlined in Sunflower Village with a concrete-printer machine stationed in the center of the development. The massive machine stays in one place during the entire construction process, printing one house and then rotating to the next lot to print the neighboring house. In this way, the machine can print all 19 houses with minimal site impact.
While the construction process earns points for thoughtful waste reduction, each home is additionally shaped for efficiency. Angled roofs optimize the homes for solar and rainwater collection. The design faces the sun like a sunflower uses photovoltaic frameless tiles for cladding the roofs.
Renewable energy through solar power makes each home self-sustaining, collecting enough to power floor-heating systems, air-conditioning and electric car chargers. The rainwater harvested from the roof is diverted to a storage tank and subsequently used for toilets and irrigation.
Windows offer views of the surrounding countryside as well as natural light and ventilation for energy efficiency.
A press release for the project reports, “Each home is fitted with DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence by Delos, the world’s first holistic in-home wellness platform that is designed to passively enhance human health and well-being through air purification, water filtration and lighting that mimics natural daylight.”
The sunflower design also aims to minimize car dependency and the need for roads. Instead, the village favors traveling by foot or bicycle.
The designers hope the concept will appeal to developers around the world as a solution for community connection outside the urban environment. They report the design could act as a template for other town facilities such as hospitals, schools, government offices or recreational areas.
“Architecture has the power to create places that don’t exist yet, but in our dreams. ‘Sunflower’ is the model of the city we dream for tomorrow,” said Valentino Gareri.