BIG and Icon Collaborate on Entire Neighborhood of 3D-Printed Houses
“BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes,” writes Bjarke Ingels Group. “BIG believes that by hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, architects can find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.”
As the latest execution of that vision, BIG has designed an entire neighborhood of 3D-printed houses, to be built by construction technology Icon.
Sited in Georgetown, Texas, a suburb of Austin, the Wolf Ranch community will consist of 100 homes. All will be solar-powered, and all printed using Icon’s Lavacrete, a concrete-like material that is squirted out of a nozzle and deposited in layers.
According to Icon, “each home’s full wall system – including interior and exterior walls – are produced with less waste and with more design freedom.”
That design freedom is apparently manifested by providing buyers with a choice of eight different floorplans and 24 different elevations, with square footage ranging from 1,574 to 2,112 square feet. (I say “apparently” because that doesn’t sound terribly different to me from the options offered by your average McMansion developer.) The firms do not elucidate on what else the “design freedom” has yielded, but perhaps that will become obvious as the floorplan/elevation options become publicly available.
The Wolf Ranch community is already under construction, so apparently the floorplan/elevation choices are not provided to buyers in a built-to-order type of situation.
Reservations will open in 2023, and buyers shouldn’t expect 3D printing to confer a cost savings: “Prices are anticipated to start from the mid-$400,000s,” Icon writes.