Milan 2019 – London-based French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani has created CONIFERA, a large-scale 3D-printed architectural installation made from bioplastic made from cornstarch and wood. Developed for fashion brand COS, the structure takes Palazzo Isimbardi until April 14 – Corso Monforte 35, MM2 San Babila.
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Seven hundred interlocking bio-bricks compose a latticed sculptural pathway woven together together to create a journey from the central courtyard of the palazzo to its garden. Visitors walk through, the architecture shifts from a wood and bioplastic composite to a translucent and white bioplastic.
Arthur Mamou-Mani architecture studio uses computational design tools to generate and evolve designs based on rules and parameters, similarly to natural processes. At Burning Man 2018, the studio 3D-modeled, built and then burnt the festival main temple, a spiraling wooden structure formed of 20 timber trusses that coil up to form a tower as they converge.
“COS contacted us when we were at the Burning Man asking to create a site-specific project for Palazzo Isimbardi that inspires us and matches COS values.” Says Arthur Mamou-Mani to Archipanic. “When we met in London – still filled with the spirit of the festival – we put sustainability on the table and said: we have problem with plastic, technology can help!”
CONIFERA weights 2.1 tonnes and it is the largest 3D-printed bioplastic structure in the world. The bio-bricks were 3D-printed in four different locations in London, Milan, Venice and Macerata. “In the past months we have been printing con tinuously these highly strong units which have roughly the very same density of foam.”
One of the Delta WASP – World Advance Saving Project – 3MT Industrial 3D printer is shown in Palazzo Isimbardi central courtyard. The next projects? “We constantly try to push the idea of sustainable design. We are developing Polybot, a giant cable robot for construction that we are trying to commercialize and as well as using it in our designs. We are working on several hotels that can also teach how to consume project that one can grow for a more sustainable future.”
The installation marks COS’ eight consecutive installation at Milan Design Week. The fashion brand has collaborated with leading architects, artists and designers such as Sou Fujimoto, Studio Swine and Philip K. Smith.
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All photos: courtesy of COS.